My football emotions

Februrary 7, 2010. I understand the emotionality of football to avid fans.  When a season begins it’s happiness and hopefulness, elbowing and razzing fans of opposing teams. What joy!

As a Vikings fan, I used to dive right in, yet lately — say the last decade or so — I’ve approached each new season with caution. The Vikings have a history, and art, of bringing their fans’ hopes up –in some seasons higher than in others — that the team will prevail to the season’s end. Then they drop those hopes, like a rock. O, the pain!

Take this season. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to stand tall to fans of opposing teams and say, “This year we’ll make the Super Bowl!”

A couple weeks ago I could say that, with a secret pang in my throat. My pal Jack, a staunch Bears fan who enjoys razzing me about the Vikings (and vice versa), took sides with me when the Vikings played the Saints. We met at The Kerryman bar to watch it.

I knew that by the end of the game I’d be soaring high with a wide smile and grand hope that we’d winthe Super Bowl, or I’d be crushed.

Well, I was crushed. Ah, pain! And worse pain than most seasons because we were so, so close.

Tonight’s the Super Bowl. I’d decided, a week and a half ago, not to watch it. Because the Vikings were so close, and yet absent from it. I would, in spirit, root for the Colts — more specifically, against the Saints.  Yet I refused to watch the game.

There’s something about the Super Bowl to a football fan. Whether or not you’re watching it, whatever you’re doing, you’re aware it’s going on. So I checked the score before I started writing this. Colts:10 / Saints: 6.  Yahoo! Maybe I could have joy after all in the Saints’ defeat.

TV off. I cautioned myself not to be susceptible to another emotional roller coaster.

And now I flicked the TV on, to check the score quick before shutting it off — like covering my face, then peeking during scary scenes of a scary movie. Colts: 17 / Saints: 16.

Trepidation. Do I spend my time watching the teams battle this out, personally feeling the blows-by- blow? Or do I go about my tasks, get things done, and check the final score later?

Such a decision for how I’ll put the season to rest. And be at peace till next year, when I’ll root for the Vikings again, watch how their season unfolds, with visions of Super Bowl in my head.

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