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Brother meets Brother Rite of Passage
by Terry Barlow
09/14/13
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Pro football is about to witness another epic match-up between two brothers who happen both to be skilled quarterbacks. This is about the fourth such occasion and the older brother has won each of the previous two or three. It is never easy emotionally for the parents, as you can imagine, except that this time it may feel more justifyable to cheer for the underdog, the one who has yet to win one of these. I am reminded of the competitive relationship I had with my own older brother (by 4 years) and how he would consistently beat me at virtually everything until I reached twenty-one years of age and finally defeated him at a water sport. It was definitely a rite of passage for me. I felt more like a man next to him that day. It was around this time that, perhaps more importantly, I also matched my big brother intellectually in generating an argument he couldn't or wouldn't refute in the presence of his comrades. It had to do with the political strategy of antagonism or agitation. ("whatever makes 'em uptight is good!") He was saying that the value of the strategy or activity lay in its power to upset the opposition, to which I countered that the action should bear and reflect the strength of its own conviction and not borrow that strength by the mere trashing of an opponent's conviction. It was another rite of passage because my brother had convinced me earlier, and I had cooperated by convincing myself, that I could never outwit or surpass his superior intellect*, not that I was looking for ways to do it either, but it happened that day.

 

* We're referring to a brother so in earnest that he claimed he had approached our high school guidance counselor with the question of whose IQ was higher and had come away with the assured information that his IQ was 10 or 15 points higher!



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Ben Sizemore 14 Sep 2013
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