Pleasantly Surprised, but Still Movin’ On

This column was originally published in the Republic-Monitor on Feb. 8, 2018.
Leading up to the Super Bowl, I had “I’m Movin’ On” by Rascal Flatts stuck in my head, a song about determining to live life again after heartbreak. (You can tell it’s a country song because there ain’t no “g” at the end of the verb in the title. I may not have had no fancy schoolin’ with spellin’ and all, but I know good music when I heer it.)
When this song came out, I was in grade school, and I would sit at the cafeteria table sipping from my carton of milk, much the same as a man would sit at a bar with his glass of beer, thinkin’ of a girl who’d done me wrong. Unrequited love can be a torturous experience for an elementary school kid, and it felt like Rascal Flatts was singing right to me.
Why were you thinking of this song now?, you ask. Aren’t you happily married?
I are. But I was down in the dumps because I just knew that Tom “GOAT” Brady and the Patriots would find a way to win the Super Bowl again, because one of the unwritten laws of the universe is that the only team that can beat New England in the Super Bowl is the Giants. It would be the same old story to what’s supposed to be one of the best nights of the year.

A Non-Blowout Super Bowl?

But the Eagles were determined to carry their underdog shtick all the way to the end, and they did just that, upsetting the Patriots. It was a pleasantly surprising way to end the season. It’s not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the game if New England had won, AGAIN; it’s that the game itself was so entertaining.
The missed kicks, the trick plays, watching Belichick (let’s give him credit) retain his famous poker face remain unflinching while seeing that his opponents’ touchdown wasn’t going to get overturned. It was a truly enjoyable game. But that’s all old news.
The only people not tired of talking about it are the renowned Philadelphia Eagles fans, who today are holding a parade for their beloved world-beating underdogs. (A small part of me likes to think they’re partying so loud, they’re keeping the New England fans up at night.)

Looking Ahead

For the rest of us, though, it’s time to move on from football. I have to resist the urge to go on and on about this year’s Super Bowl because it was such a tremendous spectacle. I had so much fun watching it, in fact, that it made me forget about everything that made this last season of football so lousy.
But I can’t dwell on the past, and I can’t just keep complaining about things I hate.
Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I can! This is my column!
But the same old complaining isn’t very helpful, so instead, I’ll focus on what I hope for.
As far as the NFL goes, I’m hoping for two big changes next season. First, I hope Roger Goodell grows a spine, stops cow-towing to the Politically Correct Police and tells players they’re getting paid ridiculous amounts of money to play a game and they don’t need to kneel during the national anthem.

Something More Productive than Protests

If players have something to say, then I hope they can find a way to say it that isn’t disrespectful and doesn’t suck the fun out of a game. Of course, this means that if players take the time to make level-headed, respectful statements off the field, then fans should be willing to listen.
Instead of hoping for our modern American climate to be conducive to a level-headed conversation, my time might be better spent wishing for a unicorn to fly me to Disneyland, but hey, it’s worth a shot.
Second, I’m hopeful the NFL’s officiating pin heads can finally figure out a simple way to rule a reception a catch or a non-catch. Football games are long enough without a dozen replays between every commercial break.
Anyway, enough about football. It’s time for the Olympics. Turn off that Rascal Flatts; lets hear from John Williams and that timeless masterpiece, “Olympics Fanfare and Theme.” A new day is dawning, and it brings with it much, much more for me to complain about.

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