After the Super Bowl

I have watched most of the football games this season and now that the season is over, I wonder how I will spend my Sundays. Since I am new to this sport, I have sometimes watched the games while reading “Football for Dummies,” a book that turned out to be much better than I expected and does not deserve the smirks that my colleagues have offered (but perhaps they are smirking at the fact that I am such a football nerd). With football in mind, I want to discuss three topics in this post: fun, skill, and inspiration.

The games were very fun to watch and I enjoyed what comes with them as well. For Super Bowl, we had a pre-game party at my place, with all of my football fan friends. We ended up in an interesting discussion about strategies; I may have eaten too many nachos, but I did not understand the last five minutes of the Super Bowl game. We also enjoyed the commercials of course; I could not take my eyes off the TV screen.

Throughout the season, I saw great skill displayed on the field, the capacity to make critical decisions in a split second, the strenuous defense that some teams were able to put up, the ability to be so very precise, and the capacity to stay calm in a crisis. I have watched so many reversals of fortune just minutes before the end of a game that I have learned that one often cannot predict the winner until the second before a game is over. It is a tough game.

In addition to the games, I enjoy listening to player interviews. The players are articulate and succinct (a rare quality, believe me), and they are aware that many of their fans are watching. Like many, I like Tim Tebow a lot. He is unusual, but like other players, he is using his power and growing fame to make a difference in the lives of young people. Because of their enormous fame, football players have the capacity to influence so many people, to inspire them, to be role models.

And speaking of role models, when I talk about football players to young students, I point out that all of the players have college degrees and many of them from very good schools. I listened carefully to all of these schools at the Super Bowl when the players were running onto the field. Hey, Tom Brady is from the University of Michigan, and Eli Manning is from the University of Mississippi, and guess what, Eli majored in Business—how about that!

Another inspiring talent that players have is the capacity to inspire and motivate their team. I watched the video of Ray Lewis talking to his team after the loss against the Patriots. That was a very tough game and Ray offered both comfort and motivation to never give up and to do better the next time. The video ended with Ray greeting a very young fan and one of the players of the Ravens holding a little curly haired girl. Priceless! I, too, am a fan, and I can’t wait until next season.