Tag Archive for: football

Flying Flags

by Bethany Maines

I had to laugh when I read Debra Goldstein’s post yesterday about
football being “only a game”.  I live in
Washington State, which, in case you’re living in a hole, is home of the
Seahawks, contenders the upcoming football high-holy day – the Super Bowl.  Although, even when living in a hole, I’m
fairly certain that you probably felt the Beast Quake or possibly Richard
Sherman dropped by to tell you how awesome he is, and then probably stuck
around to make pointedly blunt statements about the corruption in the NFL.  Football may be only game, but tis the season
for every football fan everywhere to lose their dang minds.
As I’m only an occasional football watcher I find most of
the fan-actions a bit mystifying.  Twelfth
man flags decorate every building, a local tattoo parlor is offering a 12’s
tattoo special and last game against the Packers the Seattle City Council
banned cheese from the premises.  Like
Debra, I say, “But it’s only a game!”  Not
that I say that very loudly – my husband would glare at me. 
But also like Debra, I identify with the way fans pour over
every detail, dissect plays, and watch every report on the subject.  A fan, no matter the subject, wants to know
all about the thing they love.  So I don’t
wave a twelfth man flag, but the books on my shelf tell their own tales (pun
intended).  Anyone visiting my house knows
where I stand on the topic of Lord of the Rings (pro) and the work of cover
artist Thomas Canty (also pro) and Tintin (highly pro). I don’t have any
tattoos, but I can quote The Walrus and The Carpenter – it’s tattooed on my
brain.  And as for cheese… no, sorry, I
have nothing there. Cheese is never banned at my house and neither are

Am I the only “12th Man” uber book fan out
there?  What “flags” are flying on your

It’s Only a Game by Debra H. Goldstein

It’s Only a Game by Debra H. Goldstein

My husband’s blood runs Crimson.  Nick Saban’s signed picture hangs in a prominent place in his man cave, which doubles as my den since we downsized. Signed University of Alabama footballs and Bear Bryant memorabilia also grace the room’s shelves.

Just as he deems these men to be G-ds, my husband religiously attends games or is glued to the television screen cheering his team on or bemoaning bad umpire calls. If the Alabama team wins, he takes pleasure in another week of bragging rights, but if, as they did on New Year’s Day, they get blown out of the water, he mutters for a few minutes and then philosophically notes, “It’s Only a Game.”

Many of our friends will be in mourning until next year’s football season.  They still spend hours dissecting the bad plays or interceptions that “lost the game.” They talk about how difficult it is to be a “marked” team because of having had a high ranking throughout the season.  Their sorrow will be tempered by verbally analyzing critical plays at parties and watching DVR’d games to relive the high moments of the season.

There are other people in our state who mourn in a more aggressive manner.  Newspaper stories of fights prompted by insults, stealing of mascots, and destruction of property are commonplace. Why?  After all, “It’s Only a Game.”

As a Johnny-come-lately to the writing world, I am in awe of many writers.  Their books are on display on my upstairs bookshelves, much as Nick Saban mementos are downstairs.  Throughout the years their works entertained, educated, and engaged me. Now, as I have met many, my respect for their repeated generosity and kindnesses to other writers constantly grows, especially while watching each struggle with juggling time to write, marketing and selling enough books to get another contract, handling today’s social media demands, and living balanced lives.  The reality is that most don’t “win” every day, but the successful ones handle their losses in a similar manner.  Rather than dwelling on the set-back or sabotaging their competition, they understand the defeat of the moment reflects that “It’s Only a Game.”