I’ve been thinking about the Super bowl lately. About the strange Broncos loss, about Richard Sherman, about fans, about the die-hard social media responses to all of the above and to jobs. So, with all that thinking, well I thought I’d write some things down.
First let me say, I am married to a crazy Broncos fan. When I say crazy I mean that he quite literally takes everything (well, every BAD thing) the team does personally. Like, even if they are winning and they do something wrong, he gets so upset. They need to be perfect! They need to blow out every team all the time every day amen. In the space of a 60 minute game you will hear him exclaim everything from “yes! Good job Peyton! You’re my boy, DT!” to “The Broncos are terrible! What an idiot! I hate football I’m never watching again!” So there it that. I don’t think he’s the only one, but sometimes I wonder.
Then there is me. I love to watch the Broncos, but that’s about the only football team I care to watch. And when they do something good, I’m all “yay!” and when they fumble or throw an interception I’m all “no!” But for me, it’s a game. A sport. No one dies if they do bad. We don’t suddenly get richer if they win.
So that is us.
Now let me back up to Richard Sherman. I figure most of you have heard his boastful words after the Seahawks won the playoffs. I’m also sure you read a lot of comments about it, probably both defending him and disgusted with him. I understand both viewpoints. Look, if you’re a humble, quiet, non-sports player, his words might have seemed pretty harsh and egotistical. If you are a jock, a team athlete, a person used to shouting out your feelings during games (or maybe a particularly delicious dinner), you may not have even noticed what he said. But what I don’t understand is all the polarization. What are we doing with the limited hours in our lives that we need to devote so much time, energy and concern to what a professional football player says after a winning game? I find it very interesting that so many of us didn’t just sit on our couches and say, “wow, that was intense, and I probably wouldn’t have said all that, (or I would have done the exact same thing) and good job Sherman, and good job Seahawks.”
Which brings me to sportsmanship. Did you guys hear all the negative talk during the Super bowl? FB was rampant with mean comments ABOUT the Broncos FROM Broncos fans. What the what? What happened to the attitudes we were taught in middle school gym class or the volleyball team? What happened to saying “good job” when something good happens and “that’s OK, keep it up, you’ll get it next time” when something bad happens? And we’re talking about the Super bowl. Where 22 guys play. TWENTY TWO. And the rest of us millions ARE JUST WATCHING. We have nothing to do with it. They can’t hear us. WHY ARE WE SHOUTING AT THEM? And when our team loses, why are we mean yet again? Why do we have nothing nice to say to or about them AND nothing nice to say about the winners? Why aren’t we virtually giving high fives and saying “great game, Seattle! You guys totally brought it! You were an army! You deserve the win!” or “Man, Broncos, that was a tough loss. I feel your pain. You guys are awesome, though. The 2nd best! Can’t wait to see you next year!” ?? I just don’t get it.
My final thoughts are about the fact that playing football for these guys, it’s a job. Sure, it’s a dream job. They are elite. They get paid more money than I can even comprehend to PLAY A GAME. They probably get amped up and excited about going to work every day. But still, it’s a job. Like my office job. Like you taking care of your kids each day. Like Jeff teaching math.
Imagine going to your job on the most important day of the year, maybe you are going to give a big presentation, maybe defend someone at an important trial, maybe it’s the day you take your child to their first day of school. Imagine being so stoked for that day! You’ve prepared for it. Studied. Read books and articles. Created spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides. Stayed up late. Practiced. Written down what you would say. Talked to friends and family and co-workers about the day. Even tried to look at it as any other day so as not to psych yourself out. And then… You blow it. Your projector breaks. You spill coffee on your blouse. You yell at your son right before you walk to the bus stop. You forget statistics or handouts or calculators. You forget to use spell check and “ask” suddenly becomes “ass”. You lose your patience. Whatever it is, it does NOT go like you pictured. You feel like you messed up. You feel like you let yourself and others down.
BUT... no one is taking to social media to yell and scream at you and call you names. You get to go home at the end of the day (or go out after being home all day) and shake it off. You get to try again. You get to say, hey, we all have bad days, I’ll be OK. You get to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and remember, it’s just a job. There is always tomorrow. And then tomorrow comes and you’re at it again. Maybe you look back with regret on yesterday, wish things had turned out differently, knowing you made a mistake and things were impacted and affected negatively, but the past is in the past and tomorrow is now today and you move on. Let’s let the Broncos (and Richard Sherman and whoever else!) do the same. They had a bad day. Maybe it was the worst day they’ve ever had on the job. It sucks. Actually, some of our bad days at work probably yield way WORSE consequences than a lost football game. Maybe we don’t get a raise. Maybe someone ends up in jail. Maybe a new housing development doesn’t get built, or maybe it does and a park gets bulldozed. Those things, in my mind, are a lot worse than a bunch of millionaires we don’t even know losing a GAME.
So let’s let the Broncos look back with pride on all the other days at work this season. Let them learn from the mistakes they made so they can go back to work tomorrow and try again. Free them from hearing the name calling and meanness that is now forever virtually imprinted in the universe. If we’re going to make something stick in the universe forever, let it be positive and lifegiving. #goodjobBroncos. #betterlucknextyear. #congratsseahawks. It was fun watching you this year and getting to be a part of the work you love to do. #thankyou.
Here ends my thoughts on the subject of the Super bowl. Thanks for listening J