You may find this hard to believe but I just saw my very, first, live, professional football game! The last time I sat in the bleachers was in 1974, during a first date in college. However, by halftime, I told the guy that I’d had enough. It was also our last date. As for Super bowl parties? I never attended them unless coerced and even then spent every conceivable second in the kitchen or outside listening to the leaves rustle. Anything was better than watching all those big guys run after a ball that I couldn’t even see and then jump on top of each other so hard that it made me wince.
Until last week I had no clue how the game even worked. So, let me tell you what I learned after just one match: Football is a perfect metaphor for Life.
- Once the whistle blows, you only have so much time left.
- When you have the ball, you’re always heading for the ‘end zone.’
- If you get caught holding the ball, you’ll be sorry.
- As you inch towards your goal, some folks will knock themselves out helping you get there. Others will flatten you like a pancake.
- There’s always somebody faster, bigger, stronger and younger gaining on you.
- If you’re outflanked, you pass the ball to someone else and hope they don’t fumble.
- You can play an entire game and never touch the ball once.
- You can actually knock people over on purpose and jump right on top of them, if it’s done just so according to the rules.
- You can’t hold on to someone—no matter how much you want to—if they’re not actually holding the ball.
- It all starts with a coin toss.
If you can’t play, you can always sit on the sidelines and yell orders at the guys on the field, like the gentleman behind me did the entire game. As it happens, I was there to watch a young man I know realize his dream to play in the NFL. Now, the only thing better than chasing your own dreams is watching someone else bring theirs to life. That’s a spectacular thrill! My friend played well and as his teammates slapped his butt and gripped his helmet with congratulations, it reminded me of one, more thing: you don’t do any of it by yourself. Nope, not one, single, solitary yard. Like football, life is a team sport.