Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stuck the Landing: A Football Story

Autumn is here and with it the milder days and chilly nights. It's a welcome change, and I've been chanting, "boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants" longing for the days where new boots and jeans become a staple of my wardrobe again. Quick! Someone get me a pumpkin spice latte and a beret! I feel a harvest festival in my blood, and it can only be cured with pumpkin and wool blends!

Some people feel a rebirth with the arrival of Spring. Perhaps it is my SAD that has me twisted, but Autumn always makes me feel alive. Maybe it's the snap of cold that wakes me up or the promise of family gatherings and the smell of spices. There's something about the scent in the air, the bright blue canvas of the sky, and the orange and gold pops of color from the trees. It is like living inside a coloring book. 

Even waking up is different. Last night, I left the windows open and there was a chill in the air. I felt the embrace of the new season and smiled a little on the inside. As is often the case, I fell asleep with the TV on and, as always, the program showing was much different than when I drifted off. Maybe it was fate or maybe I just read into things too much, but today I woke up to HBO State of Play. Sports? Ugh. I normally avoid sports shows like I avoid onions... at all costs.

I expected to continue watching about as much as you'd expect a sports star and soldier to be engrossed by a show on the finer points of flower arranging or needlepoint. Maybe it was my affinity for men with broad shoulders, but I didn't change the channel. I didn't even get out of bed. I continued to watch Peter Berg talking to Michael Strahan and Marcus Luttrell about... happiness. 

This seemed an odd topic for a show about sports, but in the name of all that is touchy feely and introspective I held on. I listened while they talked about where they find happiness, moreover, HOW they find happiness. Two men of steel, a football player and a war hero, managed to help me understand where happiness is better than a shrink and more quickly than years of writing, erasing, rewriting, and mulling over my past. 

The happiness was in the doing. It wasn't in the achievements. It was finding a purpose, that thing that kept them going after victory faded, that brought happiness. Every high moment suffers a downturn. Purpose beyond a single goal is where the lasting happiness lives. 

Now there's a very good chance that I draw too many parallels. There is also a high probability that I was slightly hypothermic and really had to pee but wasn't ready to make the frigid run to the bathroom. I am choosing to believe it was the Universe telling me that there's something to be learned every day, often from those you least expect to learn from. 

Sadly, nothing I learned by watching State of Play helped me understand what the actual f*ck the point is of my fantasy football team. I still don't know anyone on my roster, and I have yet to find a desire to learn. I'm not saying I will participate in "collusion", but I did follow my morning epiphany with Kevin Costner in Draft Day, so I am going to be making some offers and accepting some trades for lunch or money or whatever. 

So far today feels like I stuck the landing, or whatever the cool football people call it. Maybe sports writing is my purpose! Probably not. 

Oh well, "Boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants..." 


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