Many people are writing about the fifteenth anniversary of the Islamist terrorist attack on America. Garrett M. Graff has a compelling article at Politico, ‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’ that tells the story of that horrible day by those in the Bush White House.
September 11, 2001, profoundly changed my view of the world.
On a personal level, it brought home how ephemeral life really is – especially since my birthday is on September 13th.
Ephemeral as it is, a responsible adult’s life has inescapable obligations and commitments, and we all enjoy pastimes in our valuable spare time.
Which brings me to the subject of pro football.
As a University of Georgia alumna, I loved UGA football while I was a student. I loved it while in college because of the social scene and the general enthusiasm of a football weekend, but to this day my knowledge of football is patchy at best. (Indeed, years ago my coworkers were annoyed that one week I won the football pool, but I digress.)
I do understand, however, how one develops a passionate interest in a sport, an activity, or a subject. I hope most people do; indeed, it is a poor life that does not experience a passion for something. In that sense, I fully understand why people are football fans even when I don’t know much about the game itself.
Likewise, many people are passionate about politics.
Once you combine a passion for a sport with political statements, such as the (maybe?) intentional grounding plans for September 11, no less, tempers will flare, big time.
The excellent Argentinian movie The Secret In Their Eyes (not the American remake) explains a soccer fan’s passion in this scene. At the end of the scene, however, the actor says, “There’s one thing a guy can’t change, Benjamín. He can’t change his passion.”
The thing is, you can change you passion, not only once, but many times, in your lifetime. Ace explains:
It’s Not Give Up Something. It’s Choosing Something Better.
Ace both quit smoking and gave up watching football, because they became zombie habits (emphasis added):
For me, i didn’t stop watching football to make some political statement. I just realized it was a habit I wasn’t particularly enjoying — it was a Zombie Show I was watching. One of those shows you keep watching long after you have stopped taking pleasure from them, just because you’re in the habit of watching them, and they’re still on.
Zombie habits are just bad habits. If you’re not really enjoying something that takes up hours of your life: stop. You will quickly find some better things. The mind wants to be engaged and to have fun. You will find fun.
Ace is not alone in this realization, of course. Political-activist football players and teams are risking, as Juliette mentioned, that
A large portion of the NFL’s audience won’t put their monies out for this sort of thing.
Life is short; you don’t need 9/11 to remind you, even when it brings immediacy to the point. So, if the pastime has become a zombie habit, listen to Ace: You’ll find fun.
And good luck to the NFL guys.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.