Winning! Is It Really Everything?
Today’s Brew: Spicy Eggnog. It’s early yet.
Happy Superbowl Sunday, everyone! Today is my favorite holiday of the year. Don’t bother arguing whether or not it’s a holiday with me. It’s Thanksgiving with more fun food minus the annoying relatives. This is the first year in as long as I can remember I don’t have any plans for watching the game, outside of watching the game. It’s a bit of a down year. My Patriots lost in the Championship game (wipe that smile off your face, Haters), and the sting is still fresh. I’ve planned some yummy (and surprisingly healthy) food and I can still enjoy hoping The Ravens get pounded into the turf in New Orleans.
As we are kicking off our Stories to Strip By Showcase, we are sticking with an S theme for the month of February: sexy, seductive, slutty. Does that leave any room for a forth S: sports? When I mentioned my plan for today’s blog to Julie, she wasn’t sure was a good fit for the month. I’m here to help it earn its spot of honor on this month’s roster.
There is nothing more contagious on this planet than enthusiasm.–Carlos Santana
Anticipation. In the 1990’s, The Buffalo Bills went to the Superbowl four years in a row. They lost all four times. Jim Kelly, the team’s quarterback at the time, said he would have rather gone to all four games and lost than gone to just one and won. That fascinated me. What little boy playing Pop Warner doesn’t dream of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy? After I thought about his statement, I found I agreed with him. It’s the anticipation. When you’re given a chance, an open door, anything can happen. The world is your oyster. You are in control of your destiny. You want something. You’ve done everything in your power to get it. What gets your heart pounding more than that?
Competition. What do sports have in common with watching porn? Winning releases testosterone and dopamine, nature’s own performance enhancing drugs. We all know what testosterone does. For those of us not familiar with dopamine, it’s a feel good hormone that plays an important role in reward and motivation. The challenge. The thrill of the chase. The choreographed ritual of dating and mating. Will you or won’t you get what you want?
Domination. When a team is operating at the absolute top of their game, there is nothing any other team can do to keep up. It hardly looks like a fair competition, more like a showcase on one side and a scrimmage on the other. Every decade, we talk about teams that are enjoying a dynasty, just like in Asian history, an era of prolonged domination. As a fan of a team that has enjoyed that level of success (shut up, haters), I see what kind of emotion and reaction it domination elicits in both camps. Elation. Enthusiasm. Confidence. Cockiness. On the other side–Sadness, disgust, avoidance, sometimes even hatred and violence.
Now, here is where my sports and sex comparison breaks in the road. In a Dominant/submissive relationship, true submissives describe an state of euphoria and freedom when they completely submit to their Master, even though there is condoned violence involved. In sports, when some people find themselves on the losing side of a dominant effort, they act out. How many times have we seen idiots riot in the street, setting cars on fire because their team lost? A horrible but true statistic is Superbowl Sunday is the worst day of the year for reported domestic violence episodes. I want to shout this from every rooftop in the world: your team losing a game is no justification to abuse someone who loves and trusts you. It just makes you a fucking asshole.
Hot Bodies. Let’s end this on a positive note. There’s a little something for everyone in football.
Enjoy the day, however you celebrate. And may the balls always bounce your way.