As I was sitting in the Lincoln Financial Field Stadium (the Linc) last weekend, I had this crazy idea that the Philadelphia Eagles were actually going to win their home game against the Chicago Bears. (Which they almost did, up until, oh, about the last three seconds of the fourth quarter.) Imagine that.
Now as I’m waiting for them to gear up and hit the field in Minnesota, it seems like the Playoffs have become a deserted dream. Unless they’re going to release the Walrus (otherwise known as Andy Reid) back into the wild, I can’t imagine these players living up to the somewhat unrealistic potential America has placed on their shoulders.
Americans expect so much. We’re the football fans, not the players. We pay our way to the game, buy and wear the overly priced jerseys, boo some of our “star” players (cough Donovan McNabb cough) and expect nothing but perfection from a team that we have contributed nothing to in terms of performance.
We like to think that the players are out there for us. For the fans, yes, but ultimately, for the love of the game. Does the paycheck have anything to do with it? Would they play for free? (Is the game even fun anymore?)
Thus the existential questions in life begin. Theoretically, everyone is out there trying to find their elite purpose. We all want to define our lives in terms of experiences that mean something. I seek to maintain the imagination in this, in life. In today’s society, does imagination mean anything to a culture far too grounded in reality?
It means everything.
People are no longer required to think anymore. They’re breast-fed in grade school, spoon-fed in high school and held by the hand in college. They read something in the newspaper and take it verbatim. They see a photograph and fail to question the content. (Do they forget the phenomenon of Photoshop still exists?)
Most people fail to recognize blogging as one of the greatest journalistic tools ever developed, which promotes live, active thought and audience participation. Yes, YOU can contribute to our country’s culture! But the average American doesn’t want to think anymore, and it breaks my heart.
No one wants to think and even fewer want to read. The circle of ignorance continues as we breed an exceptional brood of citizens not “in the know.” Despite all of this, there is an innumerable selection of work out there to inspire us. There is something for everyone, including literature, music, photographs, art and the Internet.
I think, in all honesty, that literature is one of the only stimulating things left. And to be frank (and brief, this is rare), I really don’t hate Donovan McNabb. I feel sorry for him. He’s being pressured from almost every angle. I sympathize. Perhaps it’s a simple and candid compassion. Maybe just one human being relating to the struggles of another.
I want world peace, I want breaking news and I want exceptional communication. I want a new President, a stimulating conversation and for the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl.
When it comes to cultural expectations, I’m sticking to the written word these days. It’s one of the only things consistently living up to my expectations. Too bad hardly anyone knows about it.
PHOTO: The Philadelphia Eagles’ home opening of the 2007 season at the Linc. We have great seats. (Melissa L. Gaffney)