Pearl of the Post: America's Favorite PastTime
Football is calling lots of attention these days as the ball of freedom is in play.
There's much to explore around the taking a knee during the national anthem controversy.
I'm not gonna go there here cuz something else came up for me.
That of great rivalries and the confidence in winning.
In early September, my family took a trip to Texas to go see the University of Michigan v. Florida Gators football game. Our cousins who had moved out of New York that summer met us in Texas. It was our first family reunion since they moved.
My husband is a Wolverine and my cousin is a Gator, so our house was evenly divided and the competition was on. The younger generation talked more trash than the elders.
We met up for the big game at AT&T Stadium.
First off, AT&T Stadium is AWESOME! Second, when two great rivals take the field there's a palpable contagious energy.
I've seen in many times before on college and professional levels. Penn State was our rival at the University of Pittsburgh.
Back in my days during the 1990's at Pitt, our football team was, how do you say, not so fab. No offense to Pitt legend Dan Marino, but we kinda sucked. I'd go to the games, pumped up sporting my proud Panthers colors and heckle the hell out of our Penn State rivals.
Problem was, I had no back up from my team. They perpetually disappointed me for four years.
It was kinda like being a Jets fan or until recent years, a Mets fan.
You don't always win at life and Pitt taught me that winning isn't everything.
Because it simply couldn't be about winning because we always lost. Progress was what mattered. Did the team progress throughout the season. Progress towards not so embarrassing losses.
The vast difference being at At&T's Stadium was seeing two teams and their fans who are used to winning. The fans can strut with pride because they've seen winning strides. The fans can confidently heckle or sit back relax and watch their teams do their thing.
The expectations and confidence levels are high.
When you're programmed to win, the losses are few and far between and strike deep. They become major upsets. When you're knocked down every five seconds like Rocky Balboa, you gain springs in your steps. You shrug it off as just another day in the life. Big graceful losers.
Yet someone always has to lose. There can only be one victor.
The Michigan v. Gators game did not disappoint. Every play in college football is exciting and the crowd was right on cue. Fans roared from both sides of the equally balanced stadium. The cheers and anthems well known, proudly sung and thunderous in the air.
The rapturous joy of scoring. High five-ing perfect strangers. The sheer joy. Talking to my new friend who was nervously pacing to my right through the tenser moments of the game. And, obviously running out every 10 minutes to fetch a new snack for my kids.
The prayers. Oh the prayers and nail biting moments. I prayed for a win, we could use a win, please, please, please, I could use a win.
And to my relief, Michigan won.
My hubs proudly sporting his winning colors with his wife and kids next to him sharing his colors, his pride, his cheers, his big win and the glory.
It was a new feeling for me and a big win for us as a family.
And, man did it feel good to earn the family bragging rights over my cousins who so thought they had it in the bag. ;)
We took our competitive family nature straight to our big Texan barbecue dinner.
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