Aaron Rodgers’ debut as a NY Jet quarterback at MetLife Stadium could not have been scripted better by Hollywood. On 9/11, during Monday Night Football, Rodgers charged onto the field, a valiant steed posting the colors of Old Glory in the spotlight. Aaron clutched the flagpole with fierce determination as he ran the gauntlet of teammates bowing before him. And within just 4 plays, a dreaded Achilles injury both ended his night of victory and led my friend and I down a long path of Google searches.
While watching Eli and Payton Manning discuss the Achilles injury on ManningCast, I remembered warnings issued decades ago about men hiding under cars in parking lots waiting for an unsuspecting female to unlock her car door. Then the lurking man would sneak behind and slash her Achilles heel, rendering her unable to escape his forthcoming sexual assault. A friend of mine had not heard this story, so we looked online only to find that Snopes.com considers this tale to be false. Humpf! Seriously? You’re telling me I have been looking under my car for years, for no reason? No way.
So why do we have Achilles heels anyway? What’s that name Achilles all about? Another Google search revealed that Achilles was a son of the king of sea nymphs who rose to dominate the battlefield as the most handsome warrior of Agamemnon’s army. Achilles quite possibly was dipped in the River Styx but the immortal-making Styx water didn’t penetrate the back of his heel because the Ancient Greeks had to hold him by the heel while dipping. If only they had just double-dipped!
But how did Achilles die? Was his heel slashed by a perp hiding under a chariot? Enquiring minds want to know. Another Google search or two later and I am still not convinced as to how Achilles died. Was he really killed by Paris? Did Paris take aim and shoot an arrow right at the vulnerable spot of Achilles’ heel? Or does the blame lie with Apollo, who guided the arrow?
How would someone guide an arrow, anyway? What kind of arrows did they use in Ancient Greece? As you can imagine by my chain of thought, my friend and I were too far down our internet rabbit holes to pay attention to the rest of the Jets game. I wonder who won. I guess I will have to google that, too.