If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know that the hate and injustice pervading our landscape has nearly paralyzed my writing. I’ve been clinging to places of truth and hope – so you’ll pardon the lack of football terminology today, and the more spiritual tone.
On the other hand, don’t pardon me.
Today’s throwback begins as a clip from Sound FX – the Super Bowl edition. It’s a moment that loops in my head, sometimes (I’m trusting, here, that I’m not the only person for whom sound bites occasionally run on mental loops).
In it, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas kneel on the green, each extending a leg in some kind of pre-game stretch. Then plainly, calmly, and confidently, they exchange an
I love you.
There isn’t a speck of homophobic shame at the words; no fear of the others’ perceptions.
There’s no bravado or crowing, either, possibly rendering a response like, “that’s what I said to your mom last night.”
The love is factual, and the words are only spoken as a reminder of the truth.
Since that moment, I’ve witnessed other intentional displays of love. After last week’s win, every single interviewed player used the same phraseology:
We play for each other
Earl Thomas posted this a couple days ago:
The love is palpable. Our physical senses, alone, do not perceive the game. We can feel shifts in the plays. We can equally detect frustration as well as the unadulterated joy of playing (Sherman calls it “playing like 10 year old kids”).
Even from across town, or across the state, or the whole country, we can feel it. It’s there, in our Spirits.
Maybe this is team spirit.
Love generates from Coach Carroll, who defies constructs such as time or age, galloping and skipping along the sideline, patting players and grinning for the duration of the game.
Love radiates between the players as they release ego and rely on one another, ultimately individually benefitting more greatly as a result of communal understanding.
Love reflects from the fans – the 12’s – who sense the connectedness in their Spirits, and release it back to the field (or the television) as unadulterated support and adulation.
And it works. When the love is there, the plays are there.
The converse, of course, is also true. Tension in the locker room, distractions from media-generated drama, egos heightened for more play time or money … These moments are when the losses have come.
I’m a believer. I believe in love. I believe in things unseen. And, I believe in a team that ain’t afraid to love.