"Do as I say, not as I do."
"Do as I say, not as I do."
Countless parents and other adult authority figures in the lives of young people have no doubt uttered that phrase before, in the likely hopeless effort to avoid coming across to members of the impressionable generations to come as colossal hypocrites.
And yet there I was last Sunday, sitting in our living room with my laptop, tapping away at the initial version of the column you've just started reading, while a major potential distraction, the TV, was turned on a few feet away, tuned to the favorite Sunday afternoon destination of the three men in our house, NFL RedZone.
Over the years, my wife and I have told our two sons to shut off the TV while they're doing homework.
Do as I say, not as I do...
So my plan was for this column to be about the phenomenon known as "Blue Zones" that seem to be intriguing the masses these days. There are a five of them documented across the globe, and I'd never heard of the concept until Blue Zones expert Dan Buettner appeared on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher to discuss these small concentrations of people who live longer than average, with centenarian status not the exception, but practically the norm.
I was a couple paragraphs into my column on Blue Zones when, suddenly, Scott Hanson, studio host for the NFL Network's RedZone, blurted out in his high-pitched voice that EN-UNC-I-ATES every syllable in crystal-clear fashion, "No way! Did he really make that catch!"
I stopped typing to look. The guy who made the touchdown catch was not on my fantasy team's roster, nor did either of my sons "own" him on their fantasy teams, so I re-commenced with typing.
But a minute or so later, the Denver Broncos were about to enter the "red zone" – which is considered to be inside an opponent's 20-yard line – so Hanson and the RedZone folks cut to live coverage of that game. I stopped typing again to see if one of my fantasy receivers, Emmanuel Sanders, might catch himself a touchdown.
He didn't. Peyton, do you hate me? What’s with all the love for Owen Daniels?
I started tapping away once again.
But then Hanson announced that one of my running backs might be out with a concussion, so I stopped typing about Blue Zones again to watch RedZone.
If you haven’t yet deduced where this column is about to veer, just know that when I decided the direction to which it was going to veer, I quietly marveled at my genius.
Let’s get ready to rummmmblllllle! In this corner, Blue Zones. In that corner, RedZone...
• Blue Zones are home to people who eat a semi-vegetarian diet based in large part on legumes and things that have roots and leaves and, generally speaking, grow from the ground and were seeds at some point. RedZone airs not a single second of commercials during its 7-hour marathon telecast each NFL Sunday. Last Sunday, Hanson noted before signing off that RedZone viewers that day had avoided more than two hours of commercials by not watching NFL games broadcast on CBS and FOX.
Advantage: RedZone, by a mile...unless cows suddenly sprout leaves.
• Blue Zones are home to people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, mostly red wine. RedZone...does it even matter?
Advantage: Blue Zones.
• In Blue Zones, people naturally incorporate physical activity into their daily routines and socialize in effortless fashion in settings that bring the youngest and oldest residents together. RedZone, at the conclusion of each Sunday's show, airs the "Touchdown Montage," a rapid-fire rundown of the 70 or so TDs scored that day.
Advantage: This one’s a coin toss.
• In Blue Zones, people put family first. On RedZone, when more than one game is at crunch time, they'll broadcast two games live in split-screen format, or four games in the "Quad Box," or, when it's a particularly insane, blitzkrieg moment of frenzied crunch-time football, they'll break out the "Octo-Box" and show action from eight games at once.
Advantage: Blue Zones...although, just listening to the breathless Hanson announce that they're breaking out the OC-TO-BOX! makes this one closer to a stalemate than you might think.
• No one smokes in Blue Zones. RedZone costs us $5 a month,
Advantage: Blue Zones, by a nose. Although it's frustrating to pay $5 a month 12 months a year for a channel that broadcasts only during the NFL regular season from September to December, I’d gladly pay $50 a month to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and the headaches and dry eyes with which it afflicts me.
• The closest Blue Zone to us is in Loma Linda, California, in a Seventh Day Adventist community, which observes the sabbath on Saturday. RedZone is observed on Sundays.
Advantage: RedZone. Sunday fun day!