People who know me are aware that I am a huge football fan, and most importantly a passionate New Orleans Saints fan. “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” is a part of being a sports fan, but I also see these parallels between life and sports. Here is what I have learned about life and being a football fan.

Friends Make Everything Better

Life’s experiences are better shared! Whether it is a sporting event where you tailgate and celebrate after a big win, birthday parties, graduations, or the agony of a hard-fought loss on the field, sharing emotions can create memories that we treasure forever. A personal favorite memory is connecting with Saints fans on Twitter, arranging to meet up for a game, then becoming real-life friends after a fabulous win and celebration. We had not met before, but during the nail-biter of a game, we hugged, prayed, and cheered for our team. I will always treasure that wonderful evening made better through new friendships.

Injuries are a Part of Life and The Game

Injuries and illness put us out of play and out of the game. How we deal with adversity speaks of our character. Recovery from injuries is difficult to physically, mentally, and emotionally deal with. How we do it, however, is the key to acceptance and happiness.

People Experience Life and Games With Individual Perspectives

“How You Do One Thing is How You Do Everything.” This is an iPEC coaching Foundation Principal. A Saints game in the Louisiana Super Dome (yes, I know it has another name now) is next level! It’s like a mini Mardi Gras in that building. Some fans spend hours painting themselves, donning elaborate costumes, and choosing black and gold glittery outfits for the games. Others wear simple team t-shirts. Some fans stand up the entire game and yell until they lose their voices. Others view the game with a bit more reserve and analysis.  Personally, I prefer watching the games at home on a big screen with like-minded people. I have learned that viewing the game with people who are negative, “You’re a loser!” “You s**k!” drains me completely.

In life, there are people who go all out and people who are more chill. There are people who have a more “catabolic” perspective of life, and those who view situations more positively. Neither perspective is right or wrong, good nor bad.

We all see things differently. You have the right to choose who you want in your environment. Think about how other people’s energy affects you.

Life Isn’t Fair

Oh boy! Anyone who watches an NFL game knows this is a #truefact. Ask any Saints fan and they will immediately tell you every detail of the infamous “No call” in the NFC Championship game in 2018.  There are “bad” calls in every sport that unfortunately affect the outcome of the game. What can we learn from this? Life isn’t fair. It just isn’t. Cheating exists, mistakes are made. Do-overs, recounts, or video replays, are not always an option. We may not get justice. Wrongs don’t get righted and we have to accept as difficult as it is, that life is not fair and the good guy doesn’t always win. This is another area when our character is tested. How we deal with these experiences reveals who we are.

Life Goes On

Bad calls, assorted misfortunes, and nasty stuff happens to all of us. Our perspective and attitude will determine how we move forward.  Having loyal friends by our side makes the journey that much more enjoyable, regardless of where our paths take us.