Super bowl Sunday. I actually like football. I enjoy watching a good football game. And I have asked enough questions over the years to have a pretty basic understanding of it: the calls, the strategy, the penalties. Unfortunately, today’s game wasn’t that exciting. When one team dominates so early on, it takes a bit of the fun out of it. Although, admittedly, I wasn’t rooting for either team, even though I kind of like Seattle’s team colors better than the Bronco’s. At any rate, I went to a Super bowl party at a friend’s house, like a lot of people do. We overate on junk food and beer and chatted with the football game playing in the background. Again, like a lot of people do.
At one point, one of my friends commented that football really isn’t important–why do we make such a fuss about it. Shouldn’t we be showing more important things on tv? (Exactly why I left early to make it home in time to watch Sherlock, but I digress.) I understand what she meant. In the grand scheme of things, football doesn’t matter, I guess. The world would go on without football teams and half-time shows by the current hot-list musical artist and numerous, odd automobile advertisements. The state of the economy is more important. Our healthcare crises is definitely more important. Education, poverty, family values…so many, many more important things to worry about than football. So much to worry about.
But look at what football did today. In my little world, it drew a handful of friends together to have a party. In New Jersey it drew crowds together to cheer for a team. Football creates some measure of pride and unity in whole cities and even states. We wear team jerseys and fly team flags. I’ve seen cars sporting logos or painted team colors. We love having something to cheer for. Believe in. We need that. I think we need football and all sports the same way we need music and art and literature and movies. It helps to balance out the heaviness of life. It helps to offset some of those never-ending worries. It helps us escape for a little bit and draws us closer together in the process. How many times have you met a complete stranger, found out you shared a love of the same thing (team, movie, book) and somehow felt connected? THAT is what’s important. Anything that helps us to connect with each other is worth making a little bit of fuss over.
I’ve said crazier stuff. But today, I’m thankful for football.