This blog entry has just as much to do with my husband and son’s passion for this sport than it does the character of Kieran’s passion.
As we all know, Kieran is the eldest son and has the power and possibility of being the next Arthur. Guess what his favorite sport is? Yup, you guessed it: FOOTBALL
Kieran was the running back on his high school football team and he was the star player. When he goes to Samhain School of Ancient Knowledge he finds out they too have a sport, but it entails a lot more obstacles. Like Football it is a gutsy game.
Yesterday, our team the New England Patriots lost. The house is in deep depression mode. I try not to get upset, but when I see my 2 guys invest such energy into this game and how it hurts them to see their team lose, I can’t help it…I get upset, as well. The idea of putting such energy into a physical sport is as ancient as people dancing or painting on the walls. Football to me reminds me of something instinctual, something raw, and something that much of the male population seems to enjoy, as well as participate in.
For Kieran, Football meant awards, breaking records, and meant he was ” Somebody.” Football for many is a way of passage for male adulthood, for male responsibilities, and duties. BUT it is also a way to seal long term friendships and realize the potential of who you are.
Kieran finds out soon enough that the training he will endure is beyond any two-day Football practices. At Samhain Kieran will go beyond what he thinks his physical capabilities are or what he thinks he can handle. Kieran finds comfort in Football where there was a Coach he looked up to and where he could experience accomplishments, not just dream about them. He finds his ‘Coach,’ in Talbot, as Talbot pushes him and pushes him until he finally accomplishes the obstacle course he needs to be an eventual Tiernan.
Ruadh is the game Kieran finds comfort in at Samhain. There he has a team. He is chosen as Team Leader. He understands how to strategize both offense and defense. This why he also liked Football, and I wonder if that is the appeal of Football: that it has all these strategies, and various ways in which to get towards the touch down or make a goal.
Football has a set of rules and with rules comes reason, purpose, and set objectives. My husband and son, love this game, and dare I say, so do I. I love the pure physical endurance these men have to take. It astounds me ever time I see a game play how they make it through a game. Of course, some get injured, but after they recover they come back for more. When you hear retired pro’s talk about the game, they can’t help themselves but remember and recall the feeling, sense, and smell of going on the grounds and playing this game. In dirt, snow, rain, hail, sleet, freezing weather, these men play! Come on….what other sport has this? There are times when Hockey is played outdoors and the fans love it to see the players in “real” weather. Baseball, is played outside, but they stop for severe weather.
Perhaps thats it. Perhaps it is the reality of the game that enthralls some of us and enthralls the players.
There seems to be a super-reality in Football. Professional Football is, though, not just a game for the men who play it, it is their job, business, and soul. There is this ritualistic, ceremonial aspect to Football, which can bring men closer to heaven and some closer to the dark side. To get back to our story….
For Kieran, Football meant home. It had positive effects on him and that is why he needed a similar feeling. With Ruadh he got that same feeling of ‘home,’ and of enduring friendships. He has now a community of friends and fellow players to whom he can talk to about a game that he loves.
Though, we have a sad house this weekend. We will consider what the New England Patriots have in store for next season. That is what us fans do, we are not part of the team, but we are the ones who try to give the team hope.