I’ll open by noting that the “defeat” referred to in the headline isn’t personal or specific to any of in the family. It refers to pathetic excuse for a performance my football team displayed against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon.
For those who don’t know me well, I am indeed a long-time fan of the Green Bay Packers. I get to call them “my team” because I actually do own one share of stock in the only publicly owned professional sports team in the world. That’s right, I’m an NFL owner, same as Jerry Jones. I have a piece of paper that goes out of its way to say it has no cash value and represents the fact that I own something like 1/300,000th of the Green Bay Packers.
But I digress. I’ll start out with the happier part of the headline…waffles. Erin got up and decided it was a good day for waffles, and indeed it was. It was a lovely, crisp fall morning and honestly, every day is a good day for waffles.
So she made some, and the kids had a nice lazy morning filled with cartoons, games and waffles. Pretty good stuff. They were also in a very goofy mood, and came into the kitchen, laughing, and showing off their coaster hats.
Erin and I had some waffles along with eggs served on the amazing tomatoes we have coming out of our garden right now. My hunch is that run is just about over, so we are enjoying those as long as we can.
We were all pretty sluggish, and generally took it easy most of the morning. The plan was to go to see some friends in Denver we occassionally get together with…they are also very COVID careful so we meet up now and then. They are also Packers fans, so we decided to watch the game.
With the exception of the game itself, it was a nice afternoon. The kids had lots of fun playing together, Henry did great, and we enjoyed some nice gametime snacks and beverages. The Packers, who have been playing surprisingly well this year, just completely fell apart in a game that made me realize that, after a few years of being a rather tepid fan, I might actually care a little bit again.
Many would verify the fact that I used to be pretty hard-core. I never missed a game, and I would get pretty emotionally engaged in games. Euphoric with wins and either angry or in the dumps (or both) with losses. I think a combination of crushing defeats and the fact that I now have kids and don’t have the emotional energy to commit to football really evened me out, and now I can watch a game without getting so tied up in it.
I came into this season with zero expectations, which made it even more fun when they played well and won games. So on Sunday, they stunk, and that’s OK. We all stink sometimes, and I still think they are a pretty good team. But I did notice a little bit of that frustrated feeling again watching this one. Believe it or not, I kind of think this is a positive because it wasn’t enough to actually change my mood, and it was a sign that maybe I’m a little bit into the game again.
With all that’s been going on this year, sometimes it feels like all the focus goes to day to day survival, and there would be times where I’d kind of think, “you know, I miss having the energy to care about football,” or “I miss having the energy to care about movies.”
So even though this week it was the agony of defeat, it did call to mind the fact that I did get something out of the games that were fun to watch, and even in this loss, it was fun being with other fans and enjoying the experience together. I miss the hell out of my old group of Packer supportesrs back in Chicago, and we used to do this kind of thing every week.
Yeah, the losses aren’t great, but it’s still fun being into something that isn’t serious and that can deliver hits of fun and fellowship. And not to get overly corny about it, but I do also think there are lessons that transcend sports and are an example in life. Losing one day or one week doesn’t mean you can’t pick up and win the next.
In Henry’s bedroom, we have my favorite Vince Lombardi quote framed.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
It’s been there since he was born, and I look at it often and find inspiration. I hope someday he does too, but I have to say that I think he has already taken it to heart. I’ve written about his progress in the last few weeks, and Henry has gotten knocked down. We all do. But he always, always, always gets back up again. Without flinch or complaint, he gets up and fights on. His will and commitment are things I admire in him already.
So while my team gets a L on the day, we had a nice afternoon with friends, and I think our little team can claim a W.