Distractions are unavoidable when the playoffs come around and they tend to crash into you like waves on the beach. There is an increased media presence and an up-tick in interview requests. Friends and fans alike come out of the woodwork to show they’re support, even though they’re coming out of the blue.
But you can’t block out family, though Chicago Bears right guard Kyle Long will give it a try heading into Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“They tell us to tune out the outside, you know, media, stuff like that. But you can’t tune out your family,” Long told NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales. “Unfortunately, I”m playing against my family this week. You’ve got to look at it as just another dude out there. He kind of looks like me, possibly. But on Sunday, we’re not related, so I’ve got to focus on my job.”
In this case, the brothers Long is fighting with (his Bears teammates) are the ones taking priority over his actual brother, Chris, a defensive end for the Eagles who he’ll need to block in order for the Bears offense to get into gear. The potential of this one-on-one matchup and the family bloodlines featured (come on, their dad is Hall of Famer Howie Long … what’s not to love about this!?) make for an intriguing matchup in a playoff game that will be full of them.
From a content perspective and from the point of view of a fan who loves rooting for unique things, I love the idea of brothers going against each other. It almost makes me wish I had a brother.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy on the families:
The little “joke” wasn’t funny to my 2 year old son, Waylon who saw this on his timeline and was devastated. Said Uncle Kyle has been “cancelled.” https://t.co/hUrZ0oP9oR
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) January 4, 2019
OH NO. Don’t cancel Uncle Kyle! That wouldn’t be very nice.
We’ve seen brothers battle in football, but we’re not used to seeing them go against each other on opposite sides of the ball. I mean, we’ve seen Peyton and Eli Manning square off against each other … but it’s just not the same when both are quarterbacks. Imagine if Eli was a pass-rusher who wanted would be responsible for going after his older brother with the game on the line and his team needing a sack. Wouldn’t that be fun!?
So while we won’t necessarily get that specific of a showdown, the Long vs. Long matchup is one we’re looking forward to seeing play out on Sunday at Soldier Field.
(Aside: I actually started to envision Eli trying to sack Peyton Manning and I haven’t stopped laughing since. Please send help.)