ossify\AH-suhfye\
verb 1: to become or change into bone or bony tissue
2: to become or make hardened or set in one’s ways

There comes a time when the stars align and the word of the day fits the bill perfectly. Yesterday, while the Jets were beating the Patriots – and making quite a few people happy – the word brought humor to our conversation that snuck in and around first downs, fumbles, and an interception (Tom Brady’s first since week six of the season).
That’s about all I can say about the game; a sentence or statistic more and I might risk over-exaggerating my knowledge. Football is entertainment. Whether the team playing is one you like, or don’t like, your toe will tap. You get wrapped in, and you want to jump up and down… be loud and passionate, like the hundreds and thousands of other fans watching. Or at least I do.
Yesterday there was a point in the game, when the Jets ossified their lead with another touchdown, and the team’s collective celebration (which included Rex Ryan shoving a camera man out of the way) was slowly smothered with a penalty. And while the NFL is particularly persnickety about remaining tactful, I cannot help but wonder why they didn’t just let them revel, for a small second or two, in bliss.
This reminds me about the other ways in which professional athletes celebrate (wrestling aside since I believe that the performance might be entirely celebratory). Tennis – the winners usually end up groveling in a painful splendor on the court. Golfers get a valedictory fist pump or two. But in football, and in basketball, there is celebration but it’s always abrupt, cut short, and somewhat stifled. Sometimes players get too excited about the celebratory gyration that they botch the play. Alas, the penalty is proven necessary.
At the end of the game – one of the Jets players did a backflip while many of them tottered around the field, arms up like the wings of, well, jets. Their limbs still didn’t find their sides as they faded into the darkness of the locker room. The Jets, as if they hadn’t already, stole the show.