Football is a game that deserves to be celebrated. The teams, players, coaches and communities that come together each fall sacrifice so much each day, week, and month, all to achieve the same goal.
There are three great celebrations of this game. They are the Texas UIL State Championships, the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, and the Super Bowl. To reach each one is a significant achievement, and the entities who organize each event know how to throw a party. We just need the NCAA and College Football leaders to figure it out so the National Championship can be added as a fourth.
People and coaches have differing opinions on which level of football is best. But there is no doubt the NFL knows how to end each year in style. I love the Super Bowl because of this. No matter who is playing, the stories told and drama of the game fill my day and add to the reasons I’m proud to be a part of the game of football. I love it because even though it marks the official end to the football season, it celebrates everything about the sport.
I love watching all the pre-game coverage and learning the backgrounds of the players and coaches. The circumstances and people who laid the foundation of who they would become, and how they came to this point in their lives. You see the emotional connections they have to the people who helped and supported them through this journey. The smiles, the tears, the heartbreaks, and the accomplishments remind us of the humanity that is infused into our sport.
I love the look back through the history of past Super Bowl champions. Seeing how the game has evolved from the earliest championships to the spectacle of today is incredible. It is hard for me to imagine that a Super Bowl was played in Rice Stadium. If you’ve never been to Rice Stadium, the surrounding area and campus are charming enough, but to host a Super Bowl? That’s just crazy to think about.
The parade through past champions also reminds you why people support their teams. I’m a Cowboys fan, and love going through those past championship teams. Sometimes that’s all a fan base has. I mean, without Super Bowl III, would there be Jets fans?
And let’s not forget the game itself. There is no way to reduce this to “just a game” when you have the world watching. Seeing how teams respond to the pressures, the environment, and overcome the distractions to perform at a championship level is a lesson in focus. Sometimes the game is good, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes your opinion of the game is dependent on who you support. That’s one of the good things about not having a dog in the fight, I can look at the game with a more objective eye. At least that’s what I tell myself.
When the game ends, that’s it. You can sit and watch the confetti fall and revel in the moment of victory, but that is it for this year’s football season. While most of us have already been preparing for next season, now it really sinks in that this one is done.
So take a moment today and reflect. Think about all that is great about this game. The positive impact it has had in your life, in your players’ lives, and in the lives of the community around you. Think about how far that impact reaches, and the history that led to this moment. That is really what the Super Bowl represents for me.
That is until the Cowboys finally make it back. Till then, there’s always next year!