Killjoy was here

I’m thinking much of Western New York is hung over from yesterday’s Bills game, in one way or another.

Hung over mostly with the residue of adrenaline from watching the game. I’ve noticed about myself for example that when a Dolphins running back had the ball, I’d feel it in my body, almost a virtual reality sense of he’s right there, make the tackle. Even if I pretend to be aloof from the howling masses, my body knows otherwise.

That madness is fleeting. I’m writing this on Monday; by tomorrow we’ll all have pretty much put the buzz behind us. And it gets me thinking about the evanescence of our passions, the way we can feel so deeply about one diversion or another, and then see that devotion washed away by the next big thing – the next political crisis, the next household emergency, the next Taylor Swift sighting. (Not me, but still.)

My wonderful pastor, Rev. Lisa Drysdale, said something at a memorial service that has resonated with me for a long time. Can you name, she asked, the last three winners of the World Series? The last few Super Bowl champions? The winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture from, say, two years ago?

No, right? Those are peak experiences for the people involved, but for us mere fans, they come and they go.

But, Lisa went on, can you name three people who have been formative in your life, who have helped to make you who you are, who were lifelines in a time of trouble, or inspiration when you were ready to make the leap? I can name those people and conjure up their faces, and I’ll bet most people can do the same.

Which is not to diminish the communal thrill of a Bills victory. It’s good for Western New York; it’s an occasion to get people together; if nothing else, it’s a conversation starter. But it’s here today, gone tomorrow. Real meaning, the meat of a worthwhile life, lies elsewhere.

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