I recently watched an NFL football playoff game with some friends at a local pub. I enjoyed the game, but the crowd fascinated me more. They reacted to every play. Their faces radiated delight with every chicken wing they consumed. Each touchdown drew passion.
Watching their reactions made me wonder if they show the same passion, or even more, during other life pleasures. I always love a good game, but nothing can replace passion for an engaging work project, a child’s innocence, the hobby that lets you be you, or the love for your mate.
Gillian, the heroine in Becker Circle and Dark Energy, tends bar on Super Bowl Sunday. In this Becker Circle scene, at the green age of 21, she watches how people react to the most anticipated moment of their year – kickoff.
Orders stop until the game gets going, giving me a chance to observe the crowd. There’s No Panties Cherry Cosmo jumping up and down. Renee tries to distract Mike from the game, but he’s not having it. Other typically lowkey patrons yell at the TV. Kyle resumes spastic pacing. With every first down or fumble, the air fills with fist-pumping and cheers. Beer and chicken wings create the only interruption.
I’m curious how passionate these people can be about other things. Working. Relationships. Sex. My mind drifts to the two nights with Joaquin. He’s passionate, even though he doesn’t remember. Amazing warmth spreads through my body so much I overflow the beer I’m pouring, and my face blooms hotter than asphalt on an August day. I look up hoping no one notices the effect of my sexy daydream.
Then there’s a field goal by the other team. The one the table in the corner roots for. Their passion should set the bar for everyone. The corner table fills the next few hours with cheers to everyone else’s boos until they trade off when the opposing team scores.
The passion continues until the clock runs out. People at the corner table slip out with long faces just before the end of the game. The rest celebrate the victory with another round. Then another. Life goes on even though a murder may have happened here.
If you choose to watch the 2022 Super Bowl on Sunday, notice the level of passion you and your fellow sports fans display. Are their similar or even better reactions to things that really matter?
I don’t know the answers, but we can have some fun observing.