Rules Are Rules
Yesterday before noon, I became part of the Packer Nation.
I tugged on my Aaron Rodgers jersey. Tugged on my Green Bay "goalpost" hat. I gently threw some chips, dip, and my Green Bay mug into a plastic grocery bag and quickly strolled across the street to Brad & Micki's.
It was time.
Lose and you've lost it all. Win and you get another chance, another game.
Micki's brother & wife & family arrived with some munchies to add to the pile that Micki had arranged. The announcers were doing the pregame hype. Pearl, the Westy terrier, wandered through and left. Bailey, the German Shepherd, wandered through and stayed. Murdock, the cat, sat upstairs and decided not to join action.
Then the game started along the roller coaster of emotions that come when two evenly matched teams go at it.
"Yeah, BABY! - TOUCHDOWN!!!"
"Wha - that wasn't interfence! Whadda gonna..."
"Who wants more soda?"
I bit into one of the wings in the bowl and immediately learned that hot wings look just like honey barbeque wings when you're not paying attention.
"Uh, (cough), I'll take one."
Everyone there, except for me and the dogs, were multi-tasking. Watching the game, carrying on conversations, texting, checking twitters, and showing new memes about the game.
Technically, I guess I was multi-tasking. Watching the game with one eye and using the other to spot the whereabouts of the honey barbeque wings.
And then, as it had the previous week, there was THE CALL.
"Awwwwwww, man. "
"Shoot, he caught it."
"That's gonna be six."
And then THE CHALLENGE TO THE CALL.
"WHAT? ! That's gonna cost us a time-out!"
"Way to go, COACH!!"
And then, another unexpected outcome.
"It's not a catch?!...HEY, IT'S NOT A CATCH!!!"
High-fives spread through the room faster than gossip at a coffee shop.
Four minutes later, there's one more game for the Packer Nation to watch. Another reason to don the gear. One more roller coaster to ride.
That was yesterday.
It's now the predawn of the day after. The fire dances in the woodstove, slowly driving the chill out of the room. I'm sitting here looking at the screen, swigging the Elixir of Knowledge as my mind wanders back to THE CALL.
The general perception from both sides of the stadium was a catch.
But the rules said it was an incomplete pass.
And the rules determine the game...and it's outcome.
A refill of the Elixir and a long stare into the flickering fire brings a thought.
Yeah, I s'pose...
Pretty much everyone watching the game thought it was a good catch. But it wasn't.
And if Life is a Game, I can't go by what I think, by what seems to be right.
I've gotta know The Rules if I'm gonna win and not be disqualified.
Not ruled "incomplete".
I stare at the woodstove at the other end of the room. Quietly, a sobering thought leaps out of the firelight, falling heavy on my mind.
This Game of Life - if I lose this one, I lose everything.
I polish off the Elixir as I head towards the bookcase.
Think I'll check The Rules...one more time.