It’s Friday night and I’m sitting in my car under dark skies and sporadic rain drops hoping that lightning doesn’t ruin my night. Lightning is about the only thing that will stop a football game, and I am in the mood for some football.
Over the last several years, I have continued to watch the game, but for a variety of reasons my passion has not been what it once was. My sons have chosen different paths, and my favorite team provided over a decade of disappointment. I am at peace with the paths my sons have chosen, and last January my favorite team climbed back to the top of the mountain.
Maybe it’s something else entirely, but I am excited to see some football. The type of excitement that surges through and enlivens the body making it feel indestructible. The type of excitement that wants to test that feeling of indestructibility by hitting someone as hard as I can. So hard I feel the air leaving the body as it falls to the ground from a hit so perfect that it doesn’t hurt in the slightest bit.
That’s what makes football special. I can play basketball or soccer at age 43 and do all the things inherent to the game, but football is different. It’s defined not by mere physical contact, but hitting, a violently, explosive form of physical contact that can only be done in pads. It measures your strength and speed, but also and far more importantly, measures that dark place in your soul where you either want this or you don’t.