Scarlett’s Letter January 19, 2014

Game Over

I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a sad day in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Niners aren’t going to the Super Bowl. Game Over.

But what a game! It was so close and until the last eighteen seconds, no one, not the loudest 12th man, not the most faithful of the faithful, no one, no one knew who would be playing the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

Not being really much of a football fan, it looked like a perfectly executed game, by both teams. Really, I know every armchair quarterback would’ve played one play or another differently, but I think it was the best match I’ve seen in a very long time. Keep in mind, all I learned about football I learned as a cheerleader in high school. I know when to cheer for defense, when to cheer for offense and what the quarterback and the receivers do. Oh, I played powder-puff football, and made a game saving tackle. I don’t remember the technical name of my position, but I got the flag in the nick of time, so I guess I was on defense. In spite of my lack of knowledge, today’s game was amazing.

I was at a friend’s house for the match; two couples, each with two kids, one boy, one girl, all similar in age, and me. The ninth wheel. But I had fun and the company was great, it takes a great deal for me to feel awkward, and even more for me to show it if I do. The men were both born and raised in San Francisco, need I say more, it was nearly 12th man loud. After the game, the television remained on for the post game analysis of the incredible match. For hours, players were interviewed, plays were analyzed and second-guessed, discussed and dissected. I watched most of the interview of Kapernick and was impressed with his response to nearly every question, “it was a good match, one that I looked for.” He knew exactly what he was doing and really, in my opinion, made very few, very minor errors, and there is nothing he could have done differently to change the outcome of the game. He played a stellar game. But, his team lost, and the look on his face was so sad it made me sad.

I thought about this for a while, and I decided it was one of the most perfectly executed games I’ve ever witnessed, again, keeping in mind I probably watch five football games a year, from about the playoffs on and only if there is a team I’m half interested in. What dawned on me, though, after some reflection, was that life is not much different than a football game. We are going to win, we are going to lose, no matter how perfectly we play.

So, the game is over. The Niners lost. What are they going to do? They are going to train and practice and play harder than ever and next year, they’re going to show up and play some more football. They may make it to the playoffs, they may not. They make it to the Superbowl, they may not, but, by golly, they will keep training, practicing and playing football.

What do you do when you lose? What do you do when you throw a perfect spiral and the receiver can’t quite reach it? What do you do when you get sacked? Do you keep on training, practicing and playing harder, over and over again? Or do you throw in the towel. Is it game over? Or is it time to revise the playbook and try a little harder next season? Game over, or game on?

Game on.

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