Finding the good on any given Sunday

Many say that sports provides valuable metaphors for life.

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

The first Sunday of February is earmarked to be Super Bowl Sunday.  It is when after the National Football League has played its full season the top two teams outmuscle each other for the coveted Lombardi Trophy.

Pandemic or not, this day is a destiny set for football supremacy.  Feb 7, 2021.

Even as fans waited for the yearly event to begin, other occasions were transpiring.

BEGINNINGS OF A MUTINY 

On Feb 1, 2021, a week before the Super Bowl, the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military began their coup d’état.  The democratically elected National League for Democracy, the ruling party of the country, was deposed.  The days that followed saw tens of thousands of demonstrators fill up the streets to protest the hostile takeover.  Democracy was challenged anew.  

THE SOUND OF MUSIC GOES SILENT

Two days before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs game kicked off, Christopher Plummer died in his home at age 91.  Plummer, who played the dashing and debonair Captain Von Trapp in the now classic “The Sound of Music” was reported to have died due to a blow to his head caused by a fall. The “Sound of Music” told the story of escape of the Von Trapp family from the Nazi regime.  It was a very entertaining piece of work, but never truly depicted the real tale of the escape. Plummer reportedly had a personal dislike for the movie despite its phenomenal success.

DECEIT, DISTRUST AND ESPIONAGE

On Feb 5, 2021, Sergey Maximishin, the doctor who treated Alexey Navalny died. Navalny, a staunch critic of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, was poisoned in August of 2020. He was brought to a Russian hospital where Maximishin was one of its senior doctors. A relatively incomplete news report about the incident said that the 55-year-old doctor’s cause of death was a sudden heart attack. The circumstances surrounding his demise raised suspicion of foul play.

FORTUNATELY, INSPIRING STORIES ARISE

As the sporting world was focused on the yearly festivity that the Super Bowl has become, viewing it from a broader standpoint, lined up against all these incidents, makes it seem mundane and unimportant.  Nonetheless, it shares the banner space as it receives the same amount of media exposure.  Amidst the news of death, rebellions and espionage, the narrative that sports provide is authentic, relatable and mercifully inspiring.

And even if arguably sports competition unearths the worst in humans, it more frequently underscores the good and uplifts spirits.  

The competition was fierce going into the game.  Statistics were compared, strategies reviewed and the player’s characters were scrutinized. Yet, after a very physical battle, the spirit of reconciliation moved.  The game was physical and competitive to a point that words were said and expletives were spoken.  Apparently, Brady lost his temper and went after Tyrann Matthieu, the Chief’s safety.

After the game, the now seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady sent Mathieu an apologetic text.   Though he did not acknowledge the gesture, Tyrann also did not allow the controversy to escalate, choosing to simply walk away from it.

Essentially, the subtle message is that amidst the chaos, rivalry, spoken invectives in games and competition, there is always a possible resolution in spite and despite of the outcome.

APPLYING SPORTSMANSHIP, CAMARADERIE, RESPECT IN REAL LIFE

It would be uplifting if Plummer, before passing, retracted his disdain for the movie that arguably made him a star.  

The military generals of Myanmar could have opted to “sort things out” instead of choosing the path of insurrection.

Trust, fair play and transparency could avert the controversies that surround the Russian government.   Who knows, it may even have prevented Dr. Maximishin’s death.

Sadly, in the world, there is trouble, misunderstanding and imperfections. But in our collective desire to find the good in every man, we can turn to sports to find the much-needed metaphor to deal with life’s challenges and the world’s problems.

THE TALE OF SUPERBOWL SUNDAY

The tale about the two quarterbacks gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday gained worldwide attention. Tom Brady, the Buccaneers’ quarterback, at 43 years old was aiming for his 7th Super Bowl win.  Also out to make history for himself was Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the Chiefs. Mahomes is 18 years younger than Brady and was going for back-to-back Super Bowl wins.

Upon winning no. 7, Brady showed us that perseverance is a true factor for success and that age is truly just a number. Mahomes laid out plainly that a loss is not the end of everything, there will always be a next time.  Super Bowl Sundays remind us that a win and a loss will be forgotten in time, what will remain are the memories that reveal the good in all of us.

* * *

Mike Ochosa is an avid sportsman. He has written for various broadsheets and on line publication providing his thoughts and insights on various sports.  He is a freelance TV boxing analyst having sat ringside in 14 of Pacquiao’s fights and for various international sports networks as well. He was President of Punchout Boxing Club and is currently President and Program Director of Philippine Habagat Baseball.  

Follow him on social media: Website: mikeochosa.com; FB: https://www.facebook.com/coachmikeochosa/; IG:@coachmike.O; Twitter account, https://twitter.com/mikeochosa

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