I had something else planned to write about today, but the events of life often change our plans. Of course this is about the devastating Sugar Bowl loss that was handed to the Razorbacks and the entire state of Arkansas last night. All around the state today people sit at their places of work and blankly stare at the walls with thoughts of what if?
What if Joe Adams could catch a football?
What if Mallet hadn't thrown the ball directly to a DE in the final seconds of the game?
What if the Hogs could tackle Pryor?
What if the defense had recovered that fumble on OSU's first drive?
What if the DB's batted down one of those TD passes when they were in great position?
What if the Hogs had picked up the blocked punt and scored?
This type of speculation will go on until next fall. That is the curse of losing a bowl game. Most people can't get that taste out of their mouth until another game is played. But I'm writing today because that's just not me anymore. I still love the Razorbacks way too much. I still got very mad and may or may not have screamed obscenities when Mallet threw that last interception. I had trouble getting to sleep last night, and the first thing I thought of this morning was the loss.
Then I saw my beautiful wife. I knew she hadn't slept well last night. She's had a headache for about 36 hours straight. She said she was really tired. At that time football meant nothing. Arica is pregnant with two special little babies. She is struggling with feeling bad a lot of the time. All I wanted to do was help her feel better. So I just sat there and rubbed her back for a few minutes.
Then Braden, who stayed with his Grandma last night, came home. He was happily jabbering on about everything. Then he gave me a big hug and any lingering feelings of loss and pain caused by the football game vanished completely.
Before getting married and having a kid a loss like this would linger for weeks. At totally unexpected times the pain of losing would shoot down my spine. It wouldn't take much to set off the mourning cycle all over again, but now I don't have time for that.
It is a great blessing to have things in my life much more important than a football game. Today things go right back to normal. My main focuses are to help out Arica as best I can and play with my little boy. Those things bring true and complete joy that easily overcomes the pain of watching a team of people I've never met lose a football game on TV.
Yes I'm still a big fan, and I was extremely upset about the loss. But this is the part where escaping the carefree days of youth is a good thing. Now I have grown up responsibilities. I have things to occupy my mind other than wondering why Petrino called a straight drop back pass on 4th and 1.
Life is full of blessings. One of those blessings is the ability to enjoy sporting competition by participating or by watching. A greater blessing though is the ability to share the joy of victory and to totally forget about the agony of defeat with my family.