Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Football is life. At least it feels that way during the final days of January when we anticipate turning the calendar to February and the week of the biggest football game of the year.
Wikipedia even goes so far as to dub Super Bowl Sunday as a defacto American holiday. Last year, an estimated 111 million viewers stopped what they were doing to eat, drink and cheer for their favorite team.
You don't necessarily need to be a fan to watch. Even if you can't tell your Manning from your Brady, you might want to tune in for the commercials, pre-game and halftime shows. Our friends at Wiki report that popular entertainers vie for the Super Bowl venue because of the vast opportunities for exposure, and not only in the Janet Jackson sense.
Football is life. Or maybe not. As I pondered the greatness of the game, I decided the metaphor goes both ways.
The offense, why football is life:
No one wants to sit on the bench. Life is richer, fuller and better if you are a participant, not a spectator.
A team has only one starting quarterback. Not everyone can be the star; as you go through life you discover sometimes being the star is over-rated.
There are no do overs. Mistakes cost you, in football and in life.
Sometimes the commercials are better entertainment than the actual game. Such is true with life. There's never an opportune time to go to the kitchen for a dish of ice cream. Something exciting could happen when your head's stuck in the fridge. You've got to pay attention.
Hard work will get you where you want to go. We're all born with abilities, but it takes effort to turn them into something worthwhile.
If all else fails, go for the Hail Mary. When things seem most desperate, sometimes it's best to pull out the stops and go for the long bomb. You just might get lucky.
A touchdown is a touchdown. If you've truly earned it, no one can take an accomplishment away from you.
The defense, why football is not life:
The real world has no two-minute warnings or time-outs (unless you are 3 years old). You can't predict what tomorrow holds or count on the fact that you've got enough seconds on the clock for two more plays. Life is happening right now. In real time.
Life has no halftime entertainment, only the chance of a midlife crisis, which may or may not include wardrobe malfunctions.
Real grass can't grow that perfectly green. It has brown spots and rough patches, especially if you own a dog. A loyal dog can be as valuable as a loyal linebacker and rough patches serve to make you stronger.
The logo on the jersey may seem important, but it's not about what you wear; it's about who you are.
Life is not a game. It may be fun sometimes and even entertaining, on occasion. But, there are no instant replays, cheerleaders on the sidelines or fans in the stands.
Finally, it's not always about winning. In fact, a well-lived life is seldom about winning. There's so much more to it than that.
This Sunday, one out of every three Americans will tune in to see the Big Game. We'll all wear red, white and blue jerseys, but the solidarity will end there. For a few hours, most of us will choose to be either a Patriot or Giant, but not both.
Because there is no such thing as a giant patriot or a patriotic giant, at least not during this Super Bowl.
Follow Slices of Life on Facebook. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" E-mail her atÊ
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