I didn't watch the Super Bowl this evening. Oh, I've watched occasionally in years past (mostly for the commercials) but I'm not really a fan of professional football. But there was a more compelling reason not to watch this year...I knew the outcome was very important to someone near and dear.
You see our oldest son Brad is die-hard fan of the New Orleans Saints. It's not a new thing...he's been an avid follower for probably 25 years. He has shirts and hats and head covers on his golf clubs and a host of other things, I'm sure, all sporting the Saints logo that he proudly wears and uses. He even proposed to his wife via the giant scoreboard at a Saints home game. Yep, he's a Saints fan through and through.
And being a Saints fan has meant accepting a lot of disappointment. He never hid behind a paper bag as some fans did during the years of the 'Aints and he never stopped cheering them on when the wins were few and far between, but it's hard pulling for a team that has one losing season after another. And even when they managed a few wins and it seemed they had turned things around, he (and every other Saints fan) knew it wouldn't be long before they broke his heart...and it wasn't.
When they started winning this year...and kept winning, we shared in Brad's excitement. And when they had a little hiccup and lost a few games, we held our collective breaths until they got back on the victory train again. Then the unthinkable happened and they were in the Super Bowl. I started to write about his loyalty being rewarded then but knew he would think doing so would jinx them. Just like when he called shortly before the game this evening to ask if I'd keep his dad from watching the game under the we-curse-KU-football-by-watching-them theory. He needn't have worried; Wayne was off on a big caching trip and didn't return until the game was over.
But I didn't watch either. Not because I was afraid I would jinx them but because I just couldn't...my motherly instincts wouldn't let me. If they were getting whooped, I knew how disappointed he would be so I kept the channel tuned to another station.
When I finally turned over after the game was over, I was pleasantly surprised by the final score and sent him a text congratulating him on his team's victory. And I didn't have to see him to know that he was grinning from ear to ear...and probably still is.