Saturday, September 19, 2009


Saturday nights bring either brooding silence or happy satisfaction to my house, depending on the outcome of the day's work. Either way, we're always tired. The massive surge of adrenaline brought on by the game, regardless of the outcome, is followed by the inevitable crash. The crash is much easier to handle after a win.

We won today, and we learned a long time ago that every "W" is a good "W," but we experienced a first today, and my house is caught somewhere between the silence and the satisfaction. Bruce has coached 23 years now, but today was the first time we ever had to go to overtime. How weird is that? You would think in over 200 games, there would have been a few ties at the end of regulation play, but today was the first one.

Bruce's teams have served up some gut-wrenching, heart-stopping finishes in those 23 years (including a come-from-behind kick-off return with 11 seconds on the clock), but today takes the cake. Riding the elation/devastation see-saw left me feeling physically sick, and we won. I don't even want to imagine how it would have felt if our DB hadn't stepped in front of their receiver on the one yard line and picked off the touchdown pass that would have sent us into double-overtime. Players for the other team literally curled into the fetal position on the field when it was over. I was glad it was them and not us, but I felt sorry for them.

Our fans left the stadium jubilant. They certainly got their money's worth today, intense hard-hitting football with an exciting finish. I had a moment or two of jubilation, but it was tempered by knowing it could have easily ended differently. On the field when we hugged each other, there was more a sense of wide-eyed "holy crap" than joy.

I wonder if there are other professions where intense emotional highs and lows are inherent in the job? I've had several jobs over the course of my life, but none that made me want to scream until I was hoarse or curl up in the fetal position at the end of the day.

Aristotle says catharsis is good for the soul. I'll bet he never coached a game that went into overtime.

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