I have a ritual. At the end of every football season directly after the Superbowl ends, I stagger downstairs, open up my media drawer and pull out two battered and worn DVDs. I peer down at those two black and gold cases and reminisce for a few moments before throwing the first one into the player. This is how my football season ends each year. I take a moment to remember how blessed we Steeler fans have been.
I know the Black and Gold have 6 Rings in total (in case you didn’t know that is the most in NFL history) but the Steelers of my generation have two. I don’t forget the dynasty of the 70s but those weren’t my Steelers; these are. I am like most fans, rabid for another victory. I remember the chants through the 90’s and 2000’s “One for the Thumb!” Then we got it. It didn’t take long to hear about “Sixburgh” so that we could pull ahead of the hated Cowboys and cocky 49ers. Then we got that. “Stairway to 7?” we are still salivating for that one (thanks Aaron Rodgers…….)
Last night as I watched that game something occurred to me. We are never happy. Not just as Steeler fans (but really, we are never happy) yet as human beings.
I think all of this can exemplified in the case of Peyton Manning.
I mean really: they guy is a 5 time MVP, first ballot Hall of Famer, he has already won one Superbowl and is in the conversation for the best Quarterback to play the game (not to mention the fact that he could probably purchase an entire Third World Country on a whim with the amount of much money he has accrued). Yet that man is undone and destroyed right now because he couldn’t win ANOTHER Superbowl. He is experiencing a low that a mere mortal like me could probably never know.
It seems that football is the very much so like life. We want it all and we want it now and we want it again and again, better than the last time for all of eternity. Often times we are like little kids screaming “Again, Again!”
Do we ever take time to cherish what we have, how we have been blessed? Have we become so obsessed with stockpiling “victories” and trophies that we miss the special moments, the small things and the true blessings we could be enjoying?
I’m sure this is why I was a subpar/mediocre High School football player. I just don’t “get it.” Football is about conquering and taking what you want as if you were a modern day Viking, sailing the seas looking for monasteries to plunder. Being the best. All of the time. No matter what.
Amass a bunch of trophies then retire at the point when your body literally cannot work properly and hope that there are no scandals to soil your legacy after they put you 6 feet in the ground. Maybe there is more to life than that. Maybe the trophies are meant to be temporary, fleeting and unfulfilling. Perhaps the only meaning they truly have are the memories shared with the people you love, the relationships that you forge and the lives that you (positively) change.
I root for the Steelers each year. I would love some more Superbowl memories; however it is okay to take a moment to cherish what we have.