My father was a huge football fan and growing up I was always annoyed that it is what was on our one TV every Sunday. As I have gotten older, I have come to really enjoy the New England Patriots and have an appreciation for all that they represent. It is not completely about the ball or the game. Yesterday’s Super Bowl actually left me teary eyed and here is why . . .
For just a few hours we put the ridiculous political bickering aside and focused on the game and the teams. On social media there were still some politicizing the whole thing with their anti-Trump comments / Robert Kraft / Tom Brady but those folks just showed that they are jerks in my opinion.
I have to say it again – we put politics aside. And it felt good. It felt really, really good. And refreshing. And optimistic.
There was a groundswell of pride from not only New Englanders but the country. Even if you were an Atlanta fan, you were proud of your team because they gave it all they had. It created a sense of community.
There were no riots, protesting, burning cars, ransacking businesses and looting after the game. The public celebrations were respectful because that is how New Englanders roll. Our peeps – the fans – have class. Why can’t political / social protesters behave like this? Why does everything have to become so incredibly nasty?
Speaking of class – Lady Gaga kept it respectful. Many are now criticizing her for not making a bold statement but instead she let her music do the talking and some of her lyrics expressed her feelings on social issues. There was no need for her to “diminish” that moment – an experience she had envisioned since she was 6. And shame on those who wanted her to be rude. She sets a beautiful example that if you dream it and work hard at it, anything is possible. All while being true to yourself. She oozes authenticity, even though most think she is odd. She owns it.
Let’s talk about Tom Brady. He never once was disrespectful to the NFL Commissioner and he could have been. Tom always takes the high road. Seriously, have you ever seen Tom Brady not be professional? There is no denying his hard work to do his job well but he is the epitome of good sportsmanship. We can all learn from Tom for a plethora of reasons. During Deflategate, he fought for what he believed in, but he kept it respectful. He adores his family and always expresses his love for them. He has respect for his coaches and teammates and understands that no one gets to the top without some help. He goes the extra mile to be great – he puts in the hard work.
Yesterday was an example that you never give up. EVER. Gaga didn’t give up on her dream. The teams gave it their all until it was over – they left it all on the field. The Patriots proved that when the going gets tough, you dig deep, push, push, push and do your job.
So why am I sharing all this? Because there were lessons left and right. Did you see and feel them? And I hope in our own small ways that we New Englanders can individually and collectively change the vibe going on in our country right now – let’s take the lessons, the pride, the sense of community, the optimism, the respect, the never-under-estimate us mindset, the commitment to hard work and to doing our jobs and living a life that is always on the high road – and channel our energies into something positive. As Gandhi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Even if you start with the tone of your social media posts and your conversations with others. Let’s turn this around and maybe just maybe the world will follow. Didn’t yesterday just feel so much better than we have felt in months? We can do this, people. Are you in?
Leslie Sturgeon is the founder of Women Inspiring Women and a lifelong entrepreneur. She embraces her imperfections while learning about herself and others, supporting the fabulous women in the WIW community, journeying through life with optimism, and laughing so hard she snorts or pees (sometimes both simultaneously). www.womeninspiring.com