Football fever, thoughts from a non-fan

17 Nov

I have never been a football fan. My family prefered game night, reading, or a family movie over sports. In high school I attended a total of half a football game (a friend wanted to go to the game to meet up with a boy, once we found him we went to Shari’s for pie). In college I handed out flyers for the theatre department’s upcoming show once the game began, I left. The tally of games attended has remained thus ever since.  

As I write this, the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the game that could make them 10-0. Even I know this. Kansas City is a pretty strong sports supporting town, but this year is noticeably kicked up. Every store has Chiefs branded merchandise, and it’s not the usual depleaded halfway through the season selection.  

We’ve been taken over by football fever. Some would call it a Fairweather fan situation. Maybe that’s it, maybe there is more to it.  

Who doesn’t want to be on the winning team? To understand what everyone is taking about. People want to belong, to feel connected. To be a part of something bigger than themselves.  

As a minister, I will admit that I lean towards a spiritual community as a fantastic place to be connected to something bigger. As a nature girl I would also suggest a quiet walk in the woods.  

But for some, prophets wear shoulder pads or coach headsets. Sacred music is the roar of the crowd. Ritual involves body paint, and the dress code is more concerned with color than style. Then there’s  communion… Well, you can interpret that on your own.

Is there a lot of angst, energy and explosions of joy and anger that might be more productively aimed elsewhere? In my opinion, probably yes. On the other hand, sports are one of the few safe places in our culture where it is okay to have big emotions (at least for men). You can jump for joy, cry in your beer, hug your friends, and as I mentioned, belong to something.  

So while I don’t have much of an opinion on who wins tonight, (though there is a Broncos flag in my husband’s man cave) I am sitting in appreciation for the phenomenon that is sweeping KC. It has brought hope, confidence and a sense of ownership to our community, and that indeed is a blessing.

Go team!


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