When I was 9 years old I witnessed an event that changed my life forever. It was January. Our family was living in Bogota, Colombia when my dad decided it was time to introduce me to American football. The event: The “Super Bowl,” the teams, the New England Patriots vs. the Green Bay Packers. My whole life I had lived either in Central or South American countries. This meant the only sport I knew was soccer. That Super Bowl night would mark me in an extraordinary way.
When the game started I could not understand why it was called football. After all, in Latin America people call soccer, “football.” At the beginning, the game was simply boring, I did not understand the rules and regulations. It paused too much… They run a play then huddle for 40 seconds before another play was run. The game was boring until a young player by the name of Desmond Howard ran a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown! This play captivated me! At the time it was the coolest sports play I had ever witnessed. From that play on I was rooting for the Packers. The cheese heads were lead by a young quarterback by the name of Brett Favre. The future hall of famer was a gambler, a gunslinger, the complete opposite of perfect. Yet he played nothing but perfect. For the rest of the night I witnessed the packers dominate. Fortunately for me since I was a little 9 year old kid I would jump on the bandwagon of the winning team. Yet this was different, I was captivated by what the Packers had done that night. For the first time in my life I felt loyal to a team. I considered myself a Packer fan. Like an endless rush of dopamine, it felt good. Ten years later, that rush has not ended, if anything its “got” more fuel. Brett Favre is still our QB. He has not missed a single game since that night, or in his illustrious 16-year career. He has either broken, or is on the verge of breaking every all-time statistic for his position
For the past 4 seasons, I’ve watched every Packer game. On Sundays, football is my “religion.” When we lose, I enter a state of deep depression for a couple of days. But when we win, I’m on top of the world. The Packers have given my life meaning, and purpose. I will watch Packers ball till the day I die, or loose my sight. In which case I’ll listen to “Packer radio.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.