"For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks - not that you won or lost - But how you played the game." - Grantland Rice
It is axiomatic in professional football that on any given Sunday any team can beat any other team. The team which goes 1-15 wins one Sunday afternoon. The underdog may be more highly motivated. The game may be evenly matched, but the ball bounces to the left, or to the right; it flies 2 inches too high, or 3 too low. One team may play badly and not deserve to win, but the other simply loses. And, on some extremely remote occasions, just maybe, God actually cares who wins, or at least has some higher purpose in mind.
It has become popular, particularly among those with something to sell, to refer to what happens on any given Sunday as "history." It is not history, but trivia. It is of interest for the moment, but makes no lasting difference in the lives of any but those who participated.
How America was changed by the events of Sept. 11 2001, is history, well worth including on some future American Citizenship examination.
Who won, or who lost, Super Bowl III is interesting. That "The Phantom of the Opera" was the longest running musical on Broadway is more interesting if you care more about music than sports.
What happens any given Sunday is something.
If you are over 50, you have some memory of "the catch" the great Willie Mays made in the old New York Polo Grounds, it is interesting. In an interview after his retirement from major league baseball Mays revealed what he knew sports to be -- entertainment.
I recall Willie speaking of how he realized early on that what he was doing was entertainment. He told of practicing making easy catches look hard, making the little harder plays seem spectacular. In the end sports are not a cure for cancer, but a diversion from reality.
Every football player, every athlete, every man eventually learns that any given Sunday is followed by any given Monday.
Monday morning comes.
Children are still suffering in Haiti, around the world, in America, in Indiana.
World peace is as elusive as ever.
Hearts, the failure of which in one way or another gets us all some given day, continues to slow down a certain very old blogger.
Any given Sunday, as with any given Monday, it's how you played the game.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.