It's early morning here. My husband is playing his videogame and I'm perusing the sports stories. He just happens to look over at me as I'm wiping tears off my face and blowing my nose. All he goes is "football?" . I nod and then start laughing. My husbands favorite line, "gotta love my wife, only person I know that cries over football". I guess I should feel foolish but I don't, but then, he's the only one who sees me cry.
No, it's not the loss or win of a game that brings me to sobs. Although regular season losses just leave me feeling down, and post season losses just want to make me get drunk. I can "man up" with the best of them and accept the loss as a fan, graciously. Well...ok...I ummm...do grieve at the loss during a playoff game, but I hide in the closet when I do this.
It's the human side of football that often brings me to tears. A player or a coach that I admire retiring. Yep I cried when I saw Bettis holding the trophy after his last game of his career. And yes, I did cry when I read that Bill Cowher was retiring also. Some tears were shed when I saw the various NFL players pitching in to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. At one point, I had to stop watching the NFL Network because there was always something nice that would reduce me to tears...but then again, no one was watching.
This season I found the waterworks in full force as I followed the story of Buffalo Bills player Kevin Everett's miraculous struggle with a spinal cord injury earlier in the season. Yes, even when he returned to the stadium for the last game of the season, some tears escaped as I heard and read about it.
Now this morning, it was Pete Prisco who had me in tears. No, not his writings, I actually enjoy them, but it was his story on Domenik Hixon and how he'll be playing for Everett in the Superbowl. "Playing for two", as it's stated in the article. It was a little heartwrenching to read how that hit by Hixon on Everett and the susequent injury not only haunted him, but inspired Hixon.
There's a human side to the NFL. It's not just stats and points and player information. Not just game plans and Sunday games. We often feel for the players who get hurt and spurn those who cause those injuries. Prisco's article shows us the effects that incidents like the Everett injury has on those who cause them.
Yes I cried. I cried when Art Rooney passed on, I cried when Terry Bradshaw came back to Pittsburgh, after his self-exile. Tears were flowing when they showed the 75th All-Star team for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yep, the waterworks were turned on quite a bit these past few seasons. Thanks Pete for flipping that faucet again. Anyone have a tissue?
Note: Pete Prisco's article can be found here: www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/106073