I woke up this morning and put on the same clothes I wore yesterday to watch the Super Bowl, my 10-year-old Falcons shirt and my Falcons hat. Maybe I thought this would be comforting.
Yes the Falcons lost the Super Bowl, and yes it was just a game. But it hit me hard for many reasons. (Full disclosure, the loss is still fresh so please forgive me for being overly negative).
Of course, as I watched with new friends I thought of all the people I used to watch with, people that aren't in my life anymore. And one particular person that I know is fighting a life-threatening brain tumor. During every football season he would host viewing parties and cook up extravagant meals for any and all who could make it, the entire group watching and rooting for the Falcons year after year. I wanted this win for him.
I wanted it for my Dad who claimed to not be a football but yet he always knew just enough of the details to tease me when the Falcons lost. And I wanted it for my brother because the underprivileged kids at his school where he is Vice Principal would be thrilled over a Falcons win.
I'm sure there are a million other stories like this of people that wanted this win. That's the thing about football, you become invested in not only your teams but in the people you share the experience with. It's the conversations around the game, the buildup, anticipation and of course the wins and losses you share. The wins are ALWAYS better than the losses.
The loss yesterday was a reminder of one of life's cruelties, that you can put your heart and soul into something, you can do everything just right and yet, you can still lose. (By the 3rd quarter, the Falcons had a 99.8% chance of winning, and still lost. What can you even say to that?)
I'm not quite ready to hear all of the "Hey, there's always next year!" yet, but it's true they will have a whole new opportunity next year. The same rings true for all losses - even outside of sports. There is always an opportunity to put one foot in front of the other, move forward, and try again.