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Posts Tagged ‘Superbowl’

One of my best friends tells me that my one quirk, the part of my personality inconsistent with all the rest, is that I like football.  I don’t personally see this as a contradiction; maybe there are other things about me she doesn’t know.  My brother does not like football.  Or at least, though he may enjoy it, he sees it as an attack on the priorities of our nation, and more particularly, his family.  Sure, football is a great team game of hard work and strategy.  But people are obsessed, and paying millions of dollars to men who do nothing but feed our entertainment lust is unproductive.  “Hello!  What about Hollywood?”  My brother feels almost the same about movies.  Except that movies can communicate important messages, an aspect of entertainment rather lacking when it comes to sports. 

All the same, I see football as a sort of strategy class and people-watching session.  Living in Colorado, I became a fan of the Broncos when they were doing well enough to win back-to-back Superbowls.  And for several years afterwards, I stuck with them, engaging in the family ritual of changing into team colors after church and sitting down with pizza and a pop in front of the television to watch the came and coach from the couch.  I adopted the title of Morale Coach, wanting to encourage our players to play hard and to be good sports, not to fight or taunt or through tantrums.  Years of disappointing seasons and gloomy Sunday afternoons took their toll, so that I wasn’t sad when I committed to do a Bible study on Sundays during football. 

Fair weather fan?  I can justify that.  Last year was the worst, the Broncos harboring a team full of players who didn’t seem to want to win.  And if the players aren’t trying and don’t want to win, I’m not going to sacrifice my happiness cheering for them.  Much as I admire Coach Shanahan, I have to admit coaching ought to impact the attitude of the team – a team that had its share of personal trouble, losing a teammate in a dramatic drive-by shooting and generally being involved with a party crowd up to no good.  Still, one has to follow Mike Shanahan’s example of accepting the need for a new coach driving the Broncos. 

This season is a whole new ballgame.  A young coach named McDaniels came in and, holding his head high through some early controversy, established his game.  There’s a lot of new talent – or new to Denver – on this year’s lineup.  Our running backs aren’t signature Mike Shanahan anymore.  But our defense can play, our punter is good, and our offensive line is holding long enough for a no-name quarterback, Orton, to come through with his plays and make all of us rethink his place among the league’s quarterbacks.  Play has been clean, with few sloppy turnovers. 

I’m not saying the Broncos don’t have their weaknesses.  What I’m pointing at is energy.  The defense sees the ball coming towards them, and everyone around takes a lunge at it.  There’s no casual, “he’s not my man to cover” attitude, or wimpy shoves representing themselves as tackles.  On offense, when there’s no hope left of making the first down or of scoring that big run, the running back, Moreno, pushes for a few more opponent-dragging feet.  Introducing a creative new formation, called the Wild Horses, the offense has been willing to take risks, and capitalize on unexpected opportunities (read: deflected passes caught and run for big plays). 

The Broncos are 5-0, and it’s all about enthusiasm.  After the overtime win this Sunday, the coach took a leap into a celebration hug with one of his guys, a player I don’t recognize, a nobody – of whom the coach is proud, with whom the coach has rapport.  Everyone was slamming their fists into the air, jumping and yelling.  The last time the Broncos won their first 5 games, they won the Superbowl, and I became a fan.  This year, a fan is reborn. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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The teams in the Superbowl this year are the Steelers (from Pittsburgh) and Cardinals (from Arizona)… right?  I think that is right.  So I have predictions.  It’s very scientific.  Science is observing patterns.  My hypothesis is that certain factors determine victory: home of the team, culture of that home, name recognition, and age of the leader. 
 
My example case is the recent presidential election. 
The Winner was a man from the northern city of Chicago, whose culture is fairly urban and industrial.  He got enough media attention to be the candidate of choice, whose name everyone knew.  He is also one of the youngest presidents in US history.
 
The Runner Up was a man from the state of Arizona, whose culture is independent (known in some circles as ‘maverick’).  Though his was a name that has been in the primaries of presidential races for over a decade, he was the candidate no one expected to be the nominee.  He came from nowhere.  His age was the subject of much discussion, as he would have been among the oldest presidents of the United States. 
 
Can you miss the correlations between the political field and the Superbowl?  I predict that:
The Winner will be a team from the northern, urban Pittsburgh.  Industrial?  You bet.  They’re called the Steelers.  This team has been around for a long time, regular contenders for the AFC championship and won a Superbowl within the last 5 years.  They are led by a man who is also young in NFL standards, a recent star in the league. 
 
The Loser will be a team from rough and ready Arizona, this upstart team no one predicted would represent the NFC in the Superbowl for the year.  They flew in, as it were, from nowhere.  Leading this team is the veteran quarterback Kurt Warner, an ancient in the physical sport of professional football. 
 
My brother says he wants Kurt Warner – a good guy, to be sure – to win tomorrow, but I’m saying the precedent just isn’t there.  He says, “Hope.” 
 
I find that ironic. 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Simon says?  Exercises?  Arrests?  Hide and go seek?  Illegal hands to the face? 

 

My hands have spent a lot of time on my head lately.  Life is too big for me sometimes.  Like this week.  At my church I’ve been teaching a women’s Sunday morning Bible study on Ephesians.  Have you ever looked at a hill from a distance and thought you could get to the top in an hour or two, only to discover when you get closer that the hill is a mountain with no scalable paths?  And for a breathless, unmeasurable time, you think you’ll never make it; you wonder why you tried.  At the last possible moment, wings come in, sweeping you up like the eagles to hobbits on Mount Doom.  God’s grace comes beneath your weakness, and through no fault of your own, you’re at the top, taking down your hands from your face to enjoy the view. 

I watched a movie the other night.  It wasn’t a really good movie.  The cinematography was unique, and the acting was superb.  Anthony Hopkins, playing a familiarly dramatic role, was suppressing his emotions, and trying to hide them.  He kept holding his face in front of his eyes as if shielding them from a light, when really he was shielding tears from sight.  Even when there aren’t people to see me, I keep putting my hand over my eyes.  Actually, at twenty-three, it’s hard to cry anymore, so the gesture is an act of the will to indicate emotion I can’t express any other way.  But the emotions, even at my age, must be expressed. 

A friend and I are starting a small group for high school girls, and quite frankly, I don’t know where to start in connecting with them.  Emma describes Robert Martin to her friend Harriet (in the Gwyneth Paltrow adaptation) as a man as much above her notice as below it.  Is evangelism and discipleship like that?  Either people know they need discipleship and God’s grace because they’re that mature or because they’re that empty? And I’m looking at some of these girls seeing so much need, but they’re not quite broken enough yet to value it, and I don’t know how to start a conversation or to whet an appetite for a close relationship with God.  I guess it’s all up to Him. 

Psalm 32 contains God’s promise to guide me with His eyes.  So maybe putting my palms over my eyes is a way of getting me to follow Him, recognizing my own lack of wisdom.  Too bad God has to force me into faith. 

Then recently every time I try to get on the internet (check my library due dates, blog, check messages, look up movie times) I have to refresh a hundred times, and it still doesn’t work.  I’m so inefficient, and end up doing a fraction of the things I’d intended with a day.  That’s a cause of frustrated grasping of my head. 

Maybe excitement could explain the frequent movement, too.  This week quite unexpectedly I made my first sale on my business website: www.LadyofLongbourn.com  Another exciting find was a website about Hebrew alphabets and words that argues for a Hebrew – or Edenic (long story) – etymology for most words worldwide. True or not my mind has been spinning with possibilities, and I’m finding it incredibly easy to learn new Hebrew words.  But then I always have. 

On Monday I got a bargain at the thrift store, and spent less than $3 on a brand new CD of classic hymns sung by the amazing St. Olaf’s Choir.  St. Olaf is a Lutheran Bible College whose incredible music department was featured on TV this Christmas season.  My brother and I stayed up irrationally (but not atypically) late watching it one night.  The beauty – the gift of it so touched me that I put my hands to my head. 

Dad and I went to the Colorado Republican caucus on Tuesday, which was an experience in disorganization and disbelief you wouldn’t, uh, believe!  Do you know the actual rules stated that ties in our precinct should be decided by a coin toss?  No one had any idea what they were doing, and since I couldn’t help us out, I put my hands on my head. 

Sunday I sat on the floor in my sanctuary, which was an exciting change.  You’ve no idea how many times I wanted to sit on the floor instead of formal, uncomfortable, modern chairs.  Mary of Bethany sat at Jesus’ feet, and that is quite my preference.  I probably won’t do it all the time; I fought against feeling self-conscious.  But it was neat to experience freedom in that way. 

The Superbowl…  Ok, to stop all scorn in its tracks, I babysat for a neighborhood outreach party put on by a church plant in Denver, and then hung out with everyone for the last quarter, so it isn’t like I was idolizing football or anything.  The Superbowl was a nail-biter, quite exciting.  I couldn’t believe some of the plays I witnessed.  Nice escape, interesting throw, and impossible catch for essential first down.  Yep.  I even know what I’m talking about.  Hands over my eyes. 

Monday was a rambling day, much like this post.  How beautiful to spend unhurried time at the library, wandering around, thinking, scurrying back and forth from the movie shelves to the computers (which work!) there, as an idea of another movie to watch came to mind…  And then on Wednesday I got to go to tea with a new friend.  Tea, yes.  I had mint chai, which is just as good as the other varieties I’ve had.  With enough sugar almost any tea tastes good, I think.  I just needed to get tea done the British way, with milk, too. 

I’ve been doing much praying for a special person, name to be announced sometime after I learn it myself.  My expectations for him are so high that it’s only right I support him now, already, in prayer.  But then I miss him.  And I cover my face shutting out the vastness of the world that separates him from me – but, of course, all in God’s capable and good hands.  Um.  That was code.  It all means that I wonder where my husband is, and when he’ll come, and want him to be here sooner than later, but I have no idea who or where He is.  But God knows, and I trust God. 

This week I spoke with a few friends about honesty, and how we wish the world would let us say the truth, say what’s on our hearts without code or offense.  At least with them I’ll practice it.  I hope they will with me.  No mask here.  Which reminds me – I’ve watched several movies with masks or masquerades in them recently.  Lots of movies. 

But movies always make me think.  A movie I want to see as of today is Penelope, due to limited release on February 29.  The fantasy, fairy-tale-ish story has a message of honesty, of taking the hands from the face and being yourself for all the world to see and know – even risking the hurt. 

YLCF was a special blessing this evening, since the most recent post specifically addressed the topic of waiting for one’s handsome prince, and what to do while you wait.  I know those things.  I certainly rebel on occasion.  The reminder was important to get me refocused, to seek the most excellent and most fulfilling. 

I’m craving tea: my mom’s blackberry, which I never like.  The clock, at almost midnight after a long day, declines my craving.  In fact I even have to stop my ramble through writing.  This post is the way I used to write emails to my friends: late at night, a summary of a dozen thoughts and events that come together to form a sort of three-strand theme.  If my brother were writing, this would be a strongly metaphorical poem (trying to make sense of which would bring my hands once again to my head).  My other brother would tell a wonderful allegory.  I’m trying to get the latter to guest blog here sometime.  He has a great story about orange juice… 

Ramble away in the comments.  Feel free to put the unconcise, irrelevant, unfinished thoughts you can’t submit as an English paper, or publish on your blog, or tell your friends when they ask how you are doing.  Good night. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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