It’s fourth and long and the wind is blowing and the snow is snowing.

The offensive line is all gone now; all the regulars will never play again. It’s dark and cold and everybody holds his or her breath as the quarterback drops back.

And, just when three huge shapes, Depression, Recession, and Omigod-is-this-Really Happening, converge from out of the fog, and seem to pound the quarterback into the snowy, bare, winter field like so many giant hammers, the football actually emerges and flies up, up and away . . . toward the goal line and through the mist and snowflakes . . .

Will Congress’ passage of the Rescue or BailOut or ‘Wall Street Meets Main Street –We are all in this Together Bill,’ really save the day? Or, are we in for a doozey of a long 21st Century Depression, which we will all tell our grandchildren about like we Baby Boomers grew up hearing about in our childhoods? Recall, that it took until 1954 for the Stock Market to return to its 1929 heights!

The answer is: even the economic gurus do not know for sure. And, if they tell you that they do know, they are Witch Doctors.

It took decades to dig us into this hole. Decades in which we all lived well, high on the hog of easy credit, sometimes even low interest rates, and shopping at Big Box stores for everything under the sun at fantastically cheap prices, if only you could figure out who to share that giant, life-time supply, mustard container the size of a beer barrel with . . ..

Depression? We don’t have no stinking Depressions ever again because our forefathers wisely set up all kinds of structures to make sure that no more Herbert Hoovers would ever promise us the sun, the moon and the stars, and deliver instead, soup kitchens, and ‘Will Work for Food’ signs. It can’t happen here.

Well, thanks to computers and human ingenuity and a few trading algorithms that 1 in 10,000 of us might actually understand, and lots and lots of swirling capital looking for a home, or a safe place to wait it out, it just could happen here again. We have all lived through those fears in the last month, trying to conjure up the imagery of what our world now would look like in another Depression, helped along by the recent black and white photo on Time magazine’s cover of sad-looking men standing in line outside, what else (?), a soup kitchen. Sobering stuff for the Boomer generation that will shortly choke this nation’s Social Security and Medicare systems like the proverbial pig swallowed by the Python and swelling its way on to be digested through the snake’s long belly.

Will it work? Will the infusion of 700 Billion (plus a few more, here and there, for Caribbean Rum Producers and manufacturers of wooden children’s’ arrows in Oregon- campaign slogans aside, Pork Lives!) succeed in unfreezing our credit system so we can all go about our business? Will it return liquidity to the financial system so we can all go about doing what we do- spending money and buying stuff? Will it make the Dow stop bobbing and weaving like a cork on the water- up 300/down 200/up 300/down 200, every day, so we can re-stock our 401K’s and IRA’s and get back to planning our retirements? Will we ever have financial peace of mind again?

Those are the questions as we slide into another week of nervously opening the newspaper each morning to the Business Section, instead of sneaking a look first at the Sports Pages. I wish us all a lot of luck with that.