Does it always have to be about football?

Senator Brownback's misapplication of metaphor is a more grave insult to the language than his failure to invoke Wisconsin's athlete named Faahhrv.

It also takes down a peg or two my consideration of Sen. Brownback for the position of chief executive of the Republic. He's technologically illiterate.

"Blocking and tackling" does not refer to defensive techniques in the game of American football--or if it does, that is a recent misappropriation of the term by linguistic thugs, cutpurses, and pitchmen. It is far older than that, a reference to the use of ropes and pulleys ("a block and tackle") to lift heavy objects. In modern times, it is used to signify drudgery, the repetitive tasks that do not demand raw strength so much as perseverance along a simple plan, one pull on the rope after another after another. It connotes slow progress. Blocking and tackling does not leave one exhausted so much as it leaves one sore, having traveled through several times more in length of rope than has the weight that was lifted.

In comparison, the blocking and tackling of football are glamorous, instantaneous, bruising spectacle. An angle of attack gone wrong, a misplanted foot, and an athlete's career can end.

It's a geek-vs-jock thing, and as jocks would have it, the world turns around jocks. Another term for "jock" is ambitious.

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