Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Chicago sports fan. I was raised that way, and much like religion and political party affiliation, it is clearly the result of nurture not nature. Those who know me will also know that I love football. Football is America's favorite past time, long ago passing baseball in that category (work stoppage and canceling the world series might have been a factor). So as you might imagine, when these two things line up, my favorite team playing my favorite sport, in the biggest game of the year, I am pretty excited. The last time the Bears were in the Superbowl, I was 15. I don't remember much about the actual game and in my years of growing and learning, I can't be certain that what I know now is a result of watching the game or the many things I have learned about that team sinse then. Either way, it was a joyous time and one that I know my father waited a long time to see. In fact, if I am not mistaken, he had waited his whole life.
I don't remember feeling like I was watching something that wasn't going to happen again for another 27 years, but I was only 15 and hadn't really been made aware of the legacy of Chicago sports teams and the decades that pass between championships. Having become older and wiser I made sure to instill in my 7 year old son that what he was seeing didn't happen that often and that the next time he gets to see the Bears in the Superbowl, he might be explaining the significance of the event to his 7 year old son.
What I didn't prepare him for, and in retrospect hadn't prepared myself for, is the possibility that the Bears could lose. See the thing is, we ( by we I mean them, I know I don't play for any of the teams) don't get to the championships very often, in fact sometimes it's decades bordering on centuries, but when we do get there we win. I can't recall, in my lifetime, a Chicago sports team making it to the big game and losing. Don't get me wrong, there have been some historic chokes on the way to what seemed an inevitable appearance in the big game, but once there, we win. I don't know why, we just do. The Bears in 85 won. The White Sox the year before last won. The Bulls got there six times and won 6 times. That is just the way it is. So when everyone was picking the Colts to win and talking about the destiny of Tony Dungey and Peyton Manning, I just attributed it to those people not being aware of the fact that we don't lose. Not in that game, not in my lifetime.
In the end, the Bears of course lost and Peyton got his ring, Dungey became the first African-American coach to win a Superbowl and Prince put on a half time show that dazzled and entertained everyone. The fact that the Bears lost is conformation that, just as I get to a point that I am certain things are a certain way, something happens to show me the other side. A possibility that I hadn't even thought about not only exists, but for that moment in time, is a new certainty that I am going to have to evaluate. I can't describe what it is I feel like at this moment other than to say I think I understand what people must have felt like when they realized the world wasn't really flat.
Enjoy your day!
"Humankind cannot stand very much reality."