Sunday, January 16, 2011

for the love of the game

Another football season winds its way down. My beloved Ravens once again made the playoffs, but failed to make the Superbowl. I wonder why I always feel so let down when this happens? I'm not playing. I don't know any of the players. I don't have season tickets. I invest nothing but my time, to watch the games. Yet, when they lose, I feel bad. Conversely, when they win, I feel terrific. Is it competition by proxy?

I do know that I love the game. I really do. I know this puzzles some folks. It doesn't seem in keeping with my other interests. I don't love ALL sports. Just football. Baseball is somehow seen as more intellectual. No one would have a problem with me loving baseball. But football is a brutish thing, or so it is regarded in some circles.

I think that's why I love it. I love the basic, primal nature of it. It isn't about intellect. Although smarts can help win games. It is really a physical contest, played out by people who border on superhuman. Most folks could play baseball. Not well, but they could play. Few people could play football. I can't watch the game and think that with practice, I could do that. It is like watching the Olympics. The human body outperforms what human bodies can do -- it is physical strength, stamina, dexterity all on display.

I love it, and when the season is over, I miss it. Maybe that's why I hate when we don't make the superbowl. It cuts my season short. I don't get the last drop.

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