Last week’s Thursday Night Football game between the Browns and the Bills got us to thinking. It wasn’t a bad game. Pretty close for most of the first half, as far as we can recollect. Even so, we fell asleep before halftime.
Which brings us to the utility of passion.
We have a friend who’s getting on in years. Mostly, when she talks to us, it’s about the past. You know: ‘the good old days.’ Now, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with a little reminiscing. Trouble is, you can’t live in ‘the good old days.’ They’re gone. All the talk and all the pictures and all the flowers pressed inside old birthday cards will not bring them back.
Like it or not, we live in the present. Which is why it makes good sense to like it. We love football, and on Thursday night, we had the opportunity to watch a game, and we missed that opportunity. Mainly because we feel no passion for either the Browns or the Bills.
As it happens, we are passionate Giants fans, but it looks as if it will be a long and painful season. So does that mean we won’t enjoy football again until next year? Actually, no. When the Giants aren’t playing, we still have matchups we can get excited about. We’re actually pretty good with Philadelphia and Washington and Chicago and Pittsburgh and New Orleans and, now that Peyton Manning is with Denver, we can enjoy them, too. And hey: we can hang in with the Ravens and the Jets and Green Bay.
And we’re curious to see how Andy Reid makes out with Kansas City.
Also, we enjoy seeing Dallas and New England lose.
That is to say, on any given Sunday, Monday or Thursday, there will likely be some team in the competition that will hold our interest. Still, there are the Bills and the Browns.
Sometimes, life is like that. Our options do not thrill us. For our elderly friend, the choice to go back in time is not on the table. For Thursday night football, we were not consulted about the choice of teams. Nor will we be next Thursday.
Like the song says: “You can’t always get what you want.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t get something. Life really is short, cliché though it may be. So you might as well get what’s actually available while you’re still on the right side of the grass. Maybe, when the choices before us are less than appealing, rather than going to sleep, we might consider being a bit creative.
For example, long before we fell asleep, the Browns starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, was injured and had to leave the game. Now, here’s a little excitement: would his replacement, Brandon Weeden, be able to rise to the challenge? As it turned out, while we were sleeping, Brandon threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter, the Browns won their third straight game, and took over sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
Given how much we like football, we would almost certainly have enjoyed seeing that. But if you give up because you decide not to consider any options but those you have preconceived to be the only good ones, you can miss a lot.
It’s like having a checklist for the romantic partner of your dreams. It may cause you to walk past the true love of your life, who turns out to be shorter or taller or lighter or darker or plumper or skinnier or have a larger nose than your checklist allows.
Keep on living in the past, and you may not notice all the glorious sunrises and interesting new people, and the vast array of opportunities to write or paint or learn to play the trumpet.
Hey, this reminds us of the lyric to an old song: “When I’m not near the one I love/I love the one I’m near.” Actually, we think that’s a terrible idea on the romantic front. But as an analogy, we’d say it works pretty well.