We often use football as a diversion from real life; a break from the mundane and the stressful. But sometimes, the two worlds cross, which is exactly what happened to Patriots practice squad player, fullback Eric Kettani.
The former Naval Academy standout has been called up to active duty immediately, which means his dream of playing in the NFL is on hold, at least for now. He's heading back to the USS Klakring after receiving news that he had been denied leave from the Navy.
"I love my country and I’m happy to serve it, but I’m also happy to be a New England Patriot," Kettani said Thursday, according to ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss. He was scheduled to fly out at 6 a.m. Friday morning.
"I think some of them were shocked. Coach Belichick said he'd help me out in any way possible," Kettani said. More details via Reiss:
Kettani, who is appealing the decision, was surprised at the turn of events, in part because former Lions linebacker and current Indianapolis Colts practice squad player Caleb Campbell (Army) and Eagles practice squad receiver Chad Hall (Air Force) have had the opportunity to continue their playing careers. Kettani was told he was being called back because this is a time of war.
As for how this affects the Patriots, they have BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen as running backs on the active roster. Kettani added depth, and this could lead the team to target another running back/fullback-type for the practice squad.
In other, much less serious Patriots news, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is still talking about his disdain for Tom Brady.
“I hope I’m a target this game," Cromartie said, via the Associated Press. "I want to be a target every game,” he said. “I hope I get booed again. I really don’t care. They’re not my fans. My fans are here in New York.”
Uh huh. We'd caution Cromartie to be careful what he asks for because, well, he just might get it.
Perhaps, Cromartie knows something we don't. Like that Darrelle Revis will be burdened with slowing Wes Welker. Because that little piece of intelligence would make it a lot easy to flap his gums. We'll know soon enough Sunday.