Super Bowl Sunday – the day we gather with friends or food or both and enjoy a game of watching grown men run around the field holding a ball and being chased by other very large men who want to stop their progress, and if they’re lucky, drag him to the ground and create a human pile on top of him that weighs in excess of 4,000 pounds. And after they slowly climb back off, everyone lines back up and does it all over again.
As much as I enjoy football, I have to wonder what kind of crazy person plays this game? We see one man go down who doesn’t get back up. Another limps off the field, supported by men on either side. We watch in slow motion as men get hit from behind, their heads snapping back unnaturally, hitting the ground on their shoulder, flipping over and over before other giant men dive on top of them.
Everyone knows they play for the money, and the money is huge. But these guys didn’t start out playing in the Super Bowl. They started in grade school or high school, where there wasn’t any cash to motivate them. The players weren’t as big, but it was all relative; they were still getting knocked down, still getting piled on, and still getting back up to play some more.
Men will make fun of women when we go shopping all day in high heel shoes, or wrap our hips in suffocating elastic to appear slimmer, or wear curlers to make our hair pretty. But women have enough sense not to play football.
Today’s game was great, closely played, and with a good outcome. Some of the commercials were funny. My team won, and the food was ample and tasty. People stayed to help clean up, which was a real treat. I know they’re celebrating in New Orleans, and the Saints have become that much richer and probably are very thankful for the opportunity to play on the winning Super Bowl team.
Their headaches, twisted ankles, stubbed fingers, and aching elbows are probably distant memories as these players celebrate. And I have my own little celebration, because my son found other athletic entertainments growing up besides football. I know I would be proud of him if he were part of a winning Super Bowl team, but I would not enjoy the day knowing what might happen. So here’s to Super Bowls, and my selfish hope that I never have any of my relatives playing in one.