Of Super Bowls and What-Not
First, thanks so much for the encouraging comments – I’m inspired and humbled. It all helps and means more than just words. Thank you.
Soon I’ll post more about my accident. Guess I just don’t feel like digging into it yet. Perhaps after surgery – getting that dialed is my top priority right now, and today I have consults with two great surgeons. Unfortunately there’s no great accident story, and we can’t figure out exactly why I ended up with this horribly shattered leg. Maybe the lesson is, “Life is safer on the couch.” But that wouldn’t be life, now, would it?
Speaking of the couch, little is more absurd than a bunch of grown men in what look like bad Halloween spaceman costumes chasing a funny-shaped ball around a painted rectangle, patting themselves on the asses, taunting one another, and wagging their tails in the end zones. Except, perhaps, the absurdity that a hundred thousand people pile into a stadium to spectate and millions more watch and shout and cheer and curse at their idiot boxes, while planted firmly on their duffs and glued to every move and jiggle as if it really means something. Actually, wait – something might be more absurd: climbing. No food up there. No reason to go. No extrinsic rewards. Potential to get bowed-up mightily. At least the football players get big bucks and hot cheerleaders.
Come to think of it, though, little of what we do actually makes sense. So what the hell. Super Bowl? Sure. I didn’t even know who was playing until we flipped on the tube here at Jenna’s (she gets free cable at her apartment….duuuude! I think I’ve got a new passion, and just in time. Recovery is gonna fly by!).
Spent what seems like half the day just getting my gimp ass in and out of the bathtub, making a meal, and doing things that normally take me five minutes. But that’s OK. Everybody goes through challenges, and challenges bring opportunities. Sometimes, though, the challenges are so tragic and overwhelming that I can’t comprehend it. The people of Haiti, the people of Pakistan in the harrowing earthquake of 2005, the broken down and destitute around the globe, and the devastation and neglect endured by the people of New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. I’m so lucky.
The people of New Orleans struck me at a particular moment near the end of the game. The New Orleans Saints – I remember them being called “The Aints” because they’ve long been sooo bad – started the Super Bowl – their first ever – down 10 to 0. Well, heck, guys, you had a great season anyway and nobody thought you’d get this far… Whatever, I don’t even particularly like football. So the game went back and forth, with New Orleans going for it, taking chances, seemingly unafraid like someone – a person, a team, a city – with nothing left to lose, and they held a slim lead as their opponents, the Indianapolis Colts, drove downfield with a couple of minutes left. The Colts seemed to have the momentum as their star quarterback dropped back and threw a pass. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a rocket-fast New Orleans defender named Tracy Porter – a Louisiana native who was struck-down midseason with what was reportedly first considered a season-ending injury – stepped in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball. Colts players closed in to tackle him. Cool. Football, OK.
But life isn’t just a series of physical movements – touchdowns and tackles, interceptions and climbs, summits and fractures. The human elements give actions meaning.
And so that’s why, as I watched the New Orleans guy intercept that pass, and watched him point his teammate to block the would-be tackler, as he raced 74 yards to the end zone pumping his hand like it was more than just a game, for a moment I saw the people of New Orleans and something more than guys in goofy spacesuits, and I stood up on my crutches and cheered, yelling at the TV.