Life Goes On

I wrote this after the Vikings lost the NFC championship game this past winter…

So I woke up this morning, having gotten about 3 hours of sleep last night, a dull headache from drinking too much yesterday. I was in bed by 11:00 last night, but woke up throughout the night replaying football plays in my mind, especially that last pick… ugh Brett, why didn’t you just run the ball, pick up 10 yards, kick the field goal, head to Miami! Yeah, the Vikes lost another NFC championship game. I’ve witnessed four during my fan-hood. This one wasn’t quite as bad as 1998, but I’d probably put it 2nd on my list. I really thought this was the year we’d go to the Super Bowl. But I probably felt that way back in 2000 when we got drubbed 41-0 by the Giants, and in 1998 when we lost in OT, and in 87, and in… but those are thankfully all just vague memories now.

This season was a good ride, fun to watch, engaging. When a team is at the top, they get lots of TV air time so I got to watch a lot of games. Who would have thought Brett Favre, one-time enemy, one-time QB of the hated Packers, would now be carrying the team. Love him or hate him (and there was lots of both), I think it was a good story, and good for the NFL ratings. Boy, if this old guy can go out and play pro football every Sunday, surely I can still play hoops with friends, or throw the ball around with my kids. I wasn’t sure what to think when Favre signed with the Vikes back in August of last year, but regardless of what he did for the 2009 team, I now KNOW the guy is a class act, a leader, and a deserved hall-of-famer. I suspect he will finally retire for good now – he sure took a hell of a beating last night – you could see the wincing on his face. But who the hell knows. If he does, maybe the Vikes can finally go out and find themselves a franchise quarterback, and stop trying to win with the Warren Moon’s, Randall Cunningham’s and Brett Favre’s of the NFL ranks.

I could have cried last night watching that Saints kicker nail that final field goal. Really! I’m not afraid to admit it. It hurts to watch a team lose like that! I was friggin’ spent with adrenaline pulsing through my veins. I was mad and wanted to throw my drink class at the flat screen! The emotional investment we put into rooting for these teams is so powerful. Sometimes I think it’s crazy, silly even, but every year so many of us put our collective hearts and souls into whichever teams make us tick. And you know why? Because its fun… and it’s a release… a release from the stress of life, from work, from the day to day monotony we all face. I’m glad I’m not in Haiti or Iraq, or one of the many unemployed here in Michigan. It’s just football and life goes on.

We put the kids to bed after the game ended. I came back downstairs to watch the post-game, saw the confetti flying, and just couldn’t do it. I went to bed thinking who gives a shit about the Super Bowl. But a good night’s sleep… uh, well even a bad night’s sleep puts thing back into perspective. I’ve got a wonderful family that puts up with all this craziness, two beautiful kids that have already forgiven me for yelling at them for walking in front of the TV, and a wife that makes cookies with purple icing! I will watch the Super Bowl. In fact, I’ll probably root for the Saints. For a city still reeling from the tragedy of Katrina, they’re a good story too!

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