Watched the SuperBowl last night. First football game I’ve seen in 20 years. But I used to love pro football and with “my” Seahawks playing (not to mention this being the Stoner Bowl), I had to tune in on the computer.
Funny how the game seemed pre-ordained to go the Seahawks way from its first seconds. The instant that flubbed first snap flew over Peyton Manning’s head and the ‘Hawks fell on it for a safety just 12 seconds into the game (earliest score ever in a SuperBowl), the Broncos seemed out of focus, off their game — and doomed.
And sure enough, from then on, the Seahawks could do no wrong and the Broncos could do no right. Or rather, even when the Broncos weren’t making awful mistakes, even when a Manning pass hit its intended receiver smack in the gloves, Seahawk defenders were right there to knock the receiver down. Manning actually passed for more yardage than Russell Wilson,IIRC, but you’d hardly have known it by watching the game. The Seahawks pwned the Broncos.
Of course, the doom could have reversed any time in the first half. Or during the half-time break. But it was sealed when — just 12 seconds into the second half — the Seahawk’s Percy Harvin returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown (and made it look like a perfectly choreographed bit of football ballet).
If I were superstitious, I’d even note that Denver’s doom came with two 12s. The Seahawks are so famous for their “12th man” (their ever-faithful and very loud fans) that before the game they even charged onto the field waving a giant blue flag with nothing but a white numeral “12″ on it. The fans love their Seahawks and the ‘Hawks know the fans are part of their team.
Yep, Denver was dooooooomed.
But of course, nothing was pre-ordained. It looked to me (I could be wrong) that, while they were also just overplayed by a team that was totally “on,” the Broncos doomed themselves by getting rattled. Every closeup of Manning’s face, from the get-go, showed consternation. I’m no football expert, obviously, and maybe Manning just looks that way all the time. But consternation often goes before destruction and a nervous spirit before a fall.
My point (and yes, I have one aside from merely yakking about football) is that there are so many things in life that seem destined to have happened — but of course only seem that way because they’ve already happened. In reality, things could have turned out radically different, and not just last night at the SuperBowl.
There are many things that seemed destined to happen — that didn’t. For instance, the “success” of gun control. Back in ’93 and ’94 some of us were the ones with the consternated faces. But our nobler fellows got a second wind. Doom averted.
Currently, a whole boatload of bad things seem destined to happen. Privacy seems doomed to be slain by the combo of technology and big institutions. Freedom seems doomed to fall under waves of ignorance, apathy, and powerlust. The U.S. economy appears doomed in the long run by fiscal and political folly.
But we don’t know. We can’t know. All we can know is that that crisis presents opportunity. As can new technology, black swan events, and … well, a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil.
And what we can do is keep breathing, not get ourselves too consternated to function, take a break now and then — and hope to fly like a Seahawk when the wind is right.