Fall, the time for leaves of all colors, crisp evenings and warm days, fresh air and College football. I know there are those who worry about the commercialized nature of the sport, the pressure on young athletes to perform on the field while their education languishes in the background, and of course the concussions and disparity of money spent on other programs. But, and this is a big but—not like a smoked pork butt—but a hold-the-phones-and-what-about-school-spirit-of we think we can win this game tonight?
Well folks this little Peep has spirit, yes I do and I am hopeful they can win this fight tonight! Okay maybe not a fight like the pugilists of old with their mustaches and leotards but a fight in the trenches nonetheless. This will be my first game at a major college program, a school that ironically received the largest gift of art to a public University, the star of the Bible Belt. So many competing issues, so many things to consider and so many jokes to be made. But—it always comes back to the but—the one thing that brings people together is football.
Walking around a college campus moving in the sea of crimson and cream I was caught up in the spirit. The spirit moved me and I was moved with spirit. All the banners flying, the flags waving and the bubbas on parade. It was an awesome spectacle.
At first I was worried this little Peep would be singled out, somehow targeted as different and not like the others. I worried my uniqueness would sneak up on them and they would retaliate with words of assimilation and judgment. But no one seemed to notice me. Or it could be I was so caught up in everything I forgot to pay attention to see if anyone noticed me.
I just rolled along, taking in all the sights, enjoying the day. At the game it was more than I imagined. Oh and there were fireworks, bi-planes flying in formation, pretzels and shopping. It was magical. I clapped, I yelled, I held up my hands and yelled at each score. I called out in frustration, lamenting each blow to the collective. I loved being part of such a large entity cheering and clapping and urging on our champions.
It made me think how much I miss when I am solitary or distracted or even just wary of others. I forget what it is like to be part of something that is so random in its order and so chaotic in its harmony. I don’t have these mixed emotions when I sit by myself. I am not caught up in the moment or lost in my singularity. I am not high fiving strangers, huddled together for warmth, intent on victory at all costs. I am alone. Alone with my thoughts. Alone in my tin. Sing it with me, all by myself. I don’t wanna be all by myself anymore.