It’s just a game.
Whether it’s the heartbreak of your favorite team losing, the dedicated in the stands in the freezing cold or sweltering heat, or the lunatics that keep the faith for more than 100 years that their team would finally win a World Series — sports fans can be crazy.
In the grand scale of things that weigh on our minds every day, it is easy to dismiss a “game” as insignificant. But is it?
This week, tickets to the annual Turkey Bowl against New Canaan sold out in minutes, after residents lined up in the early morning in the hope of getting them — just for a game.
The game, held on Thanksgiving, is a tradition in Darien (and New Canaan). It’s a friendly, and sometimes not so friendly, long-standing rivalry.
But more than that, it’s an event that brings generations of families together.
It reunites old friends and former teammates and classmates in joyous celebration.
There are so many issues and topics currently that pit us against each other — so much so that in the wake of the election, there are many facing Thanksgiving dinner with real dread of facing that division. Even worse, some may not be attending their family holidays at all to avoid that festering anger, or some may have been uninvited for the same reason.
It’s just a game, but for that time period, we are all on the same team. We are all united against our mutual opponent in a light-hearted battle versus a heart wrenching one.
We can jovially dig our loved ones on the other side, we can pour our hearts and emotions into what we watch on the field, in person or on television. We can scream and yell that we won, or we can comfort one another in the sting of defeat.
Is it just a game?
Or is it just a chance for us to believe — even if it is in that the winning goal or home run is possible?
Is it a chance for us to have hope in something bigger than ourselves and in that fairy tale ending that has evaded so many of us in daily life?
Is it the opportunity for us to show our kids that hard work and practice can pay off, even if it is to play for our hometown fans, or walk out onto a field with tens of thousands cheering?
The impact of a game like the Turkey Bowl goes beyond any tackle or touchdown.
It reinforces what unites us versus what divides us. It brings us together as a community and helps us celebrate the pride we feel in it. It’s a break from the relentless newsreel, and a revisiting to happier times of the past. It’s an opportunity to create those memories for the future.
Whether you are a football fan or not, the dire need for so many of us to escape from the relentless newsreels of doom and throw our passions into something positive is obvious
On Thanksgiving, remember it’s not just a game — it’s a tradition steeped in loyalty, pride, family, friendship, strength and camaraderie. It’s a chance for us to bond and forget the rest, so we can remember the best.
And Go Blue Wave!