Monday, February 8, 2010

Grim Tidings #20 - Superbowl Let-Down

(...Follow up to Grim Tidings #18)

Late in the fourth quarter of Superbowl 44, as the Colts were down 24-17, Peyton Manning threw an interception which was returned for a TD. The game was slowly slipping away, and that misplay essentially killed any chance for a miraculous comeback. I cursed in disgust, threw my hat on the floor, and conceded defeat at that point, How could my team, and experienced team of veterans, let the NFL Championship slip away like this?

The Colts were outplayed and outcoached on February 7th, 2010. Sean Payton coached a gutsy game plan, laying it all out there in an attempt to win. From their 4th & Goal attempt to the onside kick, the Saints were fearless. They adjusted to the Colts, and did what it took to secure the win.

The Colts were really stunned by that onside kick. I was too. Just when the Defense expected to Peyton to go out there and add to their slim lead, they were forced to return to the field and resume being dominated by the rolling Saints offense. The momentum was disrupted, and the game was slipping away. Compound that with a missed 51-yard field goal (personally, I would have punted) and the evening went sour pretty quick.

So at that precise the moment of my frustration, as anger and disappointment was at its peak, and the Colts defeat was surely imminent, I am taught an important life lesson. My precious one-year old daughter Maggie, who suffered through literally 11 consecutive hours of football coverage this sour day, successfully fit the letter “G” into the side her “Alphabet Train”, and looked to me for approval. She was oblivious to the Superbowl. Maggie was grinning ear to ear with her accomplishment, giggling and having fun while she sat on the floor in her cute little Penguin-PJ’s. I look at my wife, and realize at that exact moment, that football is only a game, and family is what really matters.

Its easy to forget that sometimes. My wife and daughter are the only things truly I care about in this world, although it’s easy to wrapped up in the pursuit of winning. The real prize from yesterday was the opportunity to sit in the living room with Maggie all day and watch her play and learn and grow. Whether it was matching two of her Noah’s ark animals, or playing in the big cardboard box her car seat came in, my time with her is priceless.

Likewise in Magic, I find myself consumed with winning sometimes. Probably not as often as I was ten-years ago, but occasionally I build decks that aren’t as fun for everyone else as I think they should be. Whether it’s a DBAD hoser like Blood Moon, or a recursive combo with Recurring Nightmare, I forget sometimes that this is just a hobby, and its meant to be fun, especially at the casual table I frequent every week. Brutal winning at the misery of everyone else (though cute the first time) isn’t really my style for playing a “game”.

I guess that’s why I like janky cards like Grim Reminder so much. As trashy as it is, it is my signature, a way to reflect my Mr. Suitcase reputation and personality of someone who has everything. I may not win any tournaments with it, but as Maggie poignantly taught me yesterday, its really not about the final outcome, but the fun of the experience you have while getting there.

Not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the Colts winning the Superbowl too, its just not as all-important as I thought it was. There’s always next year. Go Colts!

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