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Do you ever do really stupid things? I do. All the time. Well, maybe not stupid, since that implies ignorance. It is more stubborn irrationality. I know I’m doing something that does not make a lot of sense, but I do it anyway. Today is the latest example. You may have noticed the blog has been a bit quiet this week. I have pneumonia. First time I have had it, and I don’t recommend it. It has felt a little like taking on the role of Patient Zero from the movie Outbreak, or Contagion, for you younger folks. The key difference is that I am not actually contagious. It is my own private little epidemic. Well, you can imagine my thinking when I found out earlier this week—as long as I feel better by Sunday, all is good. It is Sunday. All is not better.
Of course we had family in town this weekend, and everyone was over last night for dinner. One benefit of being sick is I can pretty much eat whatever sounds good to keep my stomach in check. Ordering from Maggiano’s when you normally are carb conscious is not so satisfying. I went for it last night, and chose something called chef mann’s country-style pasta. Word to the wise: don’t ever order chef mann’s country-style pasta (unless you like blonde balls of meat and a cup of oil).
My wife and mother see that I am not doing well. “Do you really think it’s a good idea to go to the game tomorrow?” my amazing wife asks. My face and words say, “I’ll be fine.” My inner self chimes in with, “Yeah, are you sure?” And I’m like, “Shut the bleep up, self! I’m going.”
I have two friends going with me, but they don’t know each other that well. It is entirely possible that if I back out, the other two could do the same. I will not be responsible for three empty seats. Plus, we have reservations at The Met in the morning. The freakin’ Met! Even if I can’t drink, I will be able to order some killer food that has a reasonable chance of staying down.
Embracing the privilege
Whenever I feel bad for myself, I make a conscious effort to lift my head up and check myself. Every week people drag themselves to Seahawks games with various ailments. Veterans without limbs climb to the 300 level. Special needs kids or adults are accompanied to their seats. Morbidly obese people brave public mocking and glances and pain. For what?
This game is meaningless. Argue if you want, but if aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and learned that some of our wealthiest and most revered citizens were honored for their ability to move a ball over a line, they would sit their with their ten eyes and oozing tentacles and be like, “And you think we are strange?”
It is the absence of that meaning that makes it so special. There is no true harm in losing. You still have your job the next day. You can still feed your family. You have not lost any civil rights or been forced to follow a new law.
Attending a football game is a chance to experience life, amplified, for 3.5 hours with 70,000 brothers and sisters who you may have never met. You are connected by a single desire to see your team win no matter what your age, religion or political affiliation might be.
I can’t say for sure that the Seahawks will win today. This team has not earned that level of confidence this season. But I am not going there to see them win. I am going to see my friends, and connect with my brothers and sisters.
Many of you that are going today are going for that same reason. The worst could happen. Seattle could lose, and the season could turn ugly. You would still be there the next game, and the game after. There could be a decade long rut, and you would still be there.
There are 365 days in the year. Only 8 of them mark a Seahawks home game. I ain’t missing a one. “Are you sure?” self chimes in one last time. “Shut the %$# up, self!” See you there folks.