Ok, so here’s the thing… life is worthless without emotion. What point is there in performing the mundane tasks and endeavors in life if there isn’t also aspects of life that make you emotional? So that you can enjoy life- or at least make it memorable. Emotion is an elixir for the soul, it keeps the mind’s edge sharp, the creative juices flowin’, and makes the minutia in life tolerable.
When I see people expressing their emotions, their passions, their souls on their sleeves; I feel alive. I don’t discriminate between tastes or opinions when it comes to emotion, just as long as I see that passion. My views on life are no better or worse than anyone elses, and the things that drive my soul are no more valid or real than anyone elses. It may sound trite, but “like what ya like” and “dislike what ya dislike”… as long as you can prove those opinions as your own, be emotive in your explanations, and see the function behind those opinions. Be moved each day… as the late great Jim Valvano once so eloquently said, “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
WOW, that’s all I can say about Jimmy V’s thoughts… but it rings true here, as emotion is definitely the key to life. Without it, we are nothing…
So, where am I going with all this…? Well, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that professional football is my favorite sport to follow. I’ve never played organized football (except flag football way back in the day) so I have no memories or nostalgia for days gone by, I just have a deep and emotional appreciation for the sport and all that I see in it.
Two recent occurences over the past 8 months or so have really stuck out in my mind as being descriptive of my love for football being. They depict football being intertwined with emotion. This is, in many ways, precisely why I’ve come to hold such an affinity for the sport. It’s not in the winning, the losing, the x’s and o’s, or the fanaticism in the NFL that really grabs me…. it’s in the emotion that seems to be more prevelant in the sport than in any other. I don’t see comparable events in baseball, basketball, etc….
So, what are they?:

Earlier this year, during the Patriots AFC playoff loss to the Broncos, perhaps my favorite football play of all time went down. I won’t get into details here, as most of you have probably seen it by now. I’ll say this, however, it wasn’t a “highlight” type play in the generic sense of the word; it was a highlight to me because it displayed all those things that we are taught at an early age. It displayed all those ideals that human nature is based on: hustle, hard work, integrity, teamwork, responsibility, brotherhood, and intelligence.
It was Ben Watson (now my favorite NFL player) making a pure hustle play in his chasing down and tackling of Champ Bailey after a Tom Brady interception. I don’t know what to say other than this- it makes me tear up, even today. It didn’t win the game for the Pats, it didn’t put points on the board, and it didn’t change the outcome of the game…. but it showed a man making a play, being responsible for his part on the field, sticking up for the rest of his team, and giving his all in hopes to better his (and his teams) situation. Watson shows his emotion for his “job”, his passion for integrity, and his decency as a teammate and agent of the foundations of competition.
And without further adieu, here it is in all it’s glory. Watch Watson come in at the end of the play, when almost all others on the field have given up! (Please pardon the audio/ video quality, I couldn’t find a better one this far after the fact)

And the other happened more recently- 4 days ago to be precise. This one involved a coach for whom I have no emotional (there’s that word again) attachment to. Interestingly enough, it still moved me enough to feel strongly and emotional about.
Dennis Green, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, was giving his post-game press conference after his teams heart breaking loss to the Chicago Bears. The simple story goes as such: the underdog Arizona Cardinals were up by a large margin of points for most of the game, and Chicago (undefeated record) came back late in the game to win the game. If the game had finished with an Arizona win, it would probably have been considered a huge upset that people would talk about for quite some time.
Coach Dennis Green’s press conference was full of emotion. There he was, trying to be diplomatic and mature while answering press questions after a brutal loss. All he wanted to do, I’m sure, was to crawl into a dark corner and escape from reality for a bit. He was upset, and it showed. But he wasn’t upset in an antagonizing or finger pointing way, he was taking his part of the responsibility for the loss, while obviously upset at the rest of the team as well. You can see it, hear it, and feel the emotion in his speech; as it’s quite palpable and obvious. It’s one of those things that makes your heart sink because you know deep down this guy is breaking apart. He doesn’t want to be there answering questions, and he probably knows he should just regurgitate all the standard answers and “sports talk” and be on his way. Reality and emotion sets in however, and he simply acts as he feels.
It’s beautiful, because none of his remarks are canned or cliche… they’re almost profound in their simplicity. The remarks are passionate, insightful, and heavy. They show that this man is hurting, and he can’t quite explain why….

So, there ya have it…. to me, these two situations convey emotion and passion. In order to live a fulfilling and rewarding journey here on Earth, both of these taits are requisite. Both of these situations made me emotional, so much as I still tear up when I see either. I hope you understand what I’ve rambled about here, as convoluted as it may be.
AM Son


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