“Simmer down,” an equally rowdy table shouted to us across a sea of green and yellow. At the local sports bar in Bend, Oregon, I sat quietly at times, and not so quietly at times, proudly sporting my new purple Kansas State t-shirt.
I was one Wildcat in a flock of Ducks. It was time for a fiesta.
On the first play, with not even 20 seconds having passed in the first quarter, Oregon received the ball with the Duck-like speed and efficiency, running down the field into the inzone. People in the bar stood and cheered and clapped. I sat there with a gaping mouth, in shock, stuck to my seat and holding my cold beer. But, I still felt easy and full of hope.
Because that is part of sports: faith. As an enduring Beaver fan, I am well aware of the concepts of loyalty and trust and love. I understand those sporting emotions much better than the penalty for a personal foul, or what third down conversion means, or that the correct term is endzone, and not inzone.
After that first play in the Fiesta Bowl, the Colts fan next to me found statistics from the 2007 Superbowl. The Bears pulled the same touchdown-on-the-first-play move against the Colts six years ago, but the fan informed me that Indianapolis came back to win the game 29-17. She was providing proof that anything could happen.
In the end, the Ducks won (32-17), but I was proud to be Wildcat that day. The table I was sitting with, comprising of two friends and one stranger, were all clapping for Kansas State by the end of the game.
A football game, a basketball game, a baseball game – sports are proof that anything can happen, that faith can be freeing, that loyalty can be enough. It is a way for us to believe, and see, that possibilities are everywhere.
(See Anything Could Happen, Ellie Goulding)