Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The best moment

It looks like I've finally managed to conquer the beast running amuck through my body. What a relief.

Just in time for a great day of football Sunday.

Yes, I said that. Now I realize I'm showing regional colors when I say that, but I'm a football fan. I've said that before. I don't know why. It has a lot to do with being raised in a college town by a football-loving college professor who had been one of the manager/trainers for the University of Washington football team in the early 50s when he was a student. He loved football, my father did. LOVED it with all caps. And I was raised at his knee, obviously. So I loved it before I understood a single thing about it. That's just the truth. I loved the University of Michigan football team when all I knew about them was their fight song. Then I changed allegiances faster and loved the Washington State Cougars for...well, once a Cougar, always a Cougar, so they say,

You women who read this blog might be asking what on earth I find so compelling about football.
It's the rush, I suppose. The exhilaration that comes at the end of close games, the feeling of overcoming, the stories told over the course of the game by the announcers, the beauty in the running, the glory in the passing, the unexpected twists--that interception, that fumble. And though some of those who play are notoriously 'bad' guys, there are also singularly inspirational individuals, truly heroic people who I have come to admire for their athleticism, but also their whole lives.

So we come to this weekend.

My own 'home-town' team played this weekend.
You might have heard. In fact, even if you live in a cave, you probably heard.
The Seattle Seahawks played Green Bay Sunday afternoon.
It was an epic game.
I don't use the word epic easily. Epic should be used purposely. It means heroic, majestic, impressively great. We aren't referring to a sandwich here.  In fact, it's meant to refer to poetry. Perhaps this blog post is my faltering, prosaic attempt...

But let me backtrack. It wasn't really an epic game. It was a miserable game...for 56 minutes, it was just plain miserable to be a Seattle Seahawk fan. See, we know our team. We KNOW who they are and what they can be.

But let me tell you the story another way. This is the messenger conversation I had with my two daughters during the game. My older daughter, E, is a digital media producer for a TV station in Seattle. She was in the press box during the game (or to be clear, in the overflow room due to so much press). Often she's on the sidelines. My younger daughter, SK, is not one bit interested in football. (Everything in parantheses is emojis)

E: So. Stressed.
Me: We've had the sound turned down. This is just awful.
Me: So you're probably lucky you missed that half.
E: ugh
Me: The only hopeful thing is that the Seahawks are a second-half team
E: That's true. I'm hoping it's a completely different team that walks out in 12 minutes.
Me: Me too, the Seahawks, this time!
E: Things are at an all-time low--I'm eating a hot dog.
Me: What? It's the apocalypse!
SK: (picture of strange man with hair sticking up)
E: I know
Me: (Tongue sticking out)
E: (Bloated face crying)
E: Me eating it
E: And watching the game
Me: (Photograph of our counter with a half eaten donut)
Beve (he was at a meeting): Still sad?
E: I believe I'm in denial. That's the first stage of grief, right?
I mean, I know technically it's not over, but...
*4th interception--Now it pretty much is
E: #somuchforarizona
Me: Yes, it is (the first stage of denial). Maybe you should take a week off to recover.
E: If only.
Me: On the bright side, we won't feel so stressed about the superbowl.
E: Another pro, my chances of contracting skin cancer are lower
Me: Silver linings
SK: my condolences
Me: Holy Crap!
E: Ditto
E: maybe even worth a swear word ;)
Me: Okay Holy #%&*
Me: (Face with hearts for eyes)
E: Giant heart
SK: I guess I should take back my condolences?
E: haha
Me: Hold your horses, we're going to overtime
Me: So, E, now you're nervous again?
E: I'm in a glass case of emotion
SK: (Shaking  dog emoji)
E: HOLY #&$*!!!!
SK: (BUNNY with a star)
SK: Congrats!
E: Thanks sister!

Sorry about the swearing. Just so you know, I don't swear. Like EVER!
I'm still trying to get to where I'm going in this post. You see the best part of the game, besides the unbelievably exhilarating 4 minute come-back, and the rush of overtime, besides the absolute thrill of knowing they were going back to the Super Bowl (and that E gets to go and stand on the sidelines to take pictures--how cool is that?) came in the mad moments immediately following the game. The clock doesn't wind down in an over-time win in the play-offs. There's no time to catch one's breath for the players. The second that football was caught in the end zone by the Seattle receiver, the game was over.

And we fans got to witness something special. I'd go so far as to say profound. Russell Wilson, the Seattle quarterback, broke down in tears. He stood there, with tears streaming down his face, and said, "God is good all the time." If you didn't see it, google it. It's remarkable. The humility, the truth, the true faith--it was the best moment for me. And inspired me.

It's why I love sports.
Sometimes there are those moments.
Sometimes there are those people.
God uses that microphone to speak to the world.
It was awesome in the best possible sense.

Sure, I'm glad the Seahawks are going to the Superbowl.
And I'm really glad my daughter gets to be a tiny spoke in the wheel.
But in the grand scheme of things, what I'm really glad about is that it wasn't just "I'd like to thank the man upstairs" kind of moment, but someone who knows and loves Jesus who spoke of Him Sunday.

To HIM be the glory.
ALWAYS and in all things,
even in sports.


M said...

Just a couple of points:
1. Finland is pretty much a cave.
2. You tickled my funny bone with the 'epic' there
3. I love your conversation and the fact that E gets to go to the Super bowl!!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

You make me want to watch the game and root for your team, even though we are Patriots fans having lived in New England...but I'm not a die-hard fan, so I can root for your team and be happy for you if you win. I can't wait to hear the messages that go back and forth on that day! :)