The biggest, brawniest, most durable guy on the football field doesn’t even wear a number. He wears a formula. 32 feet per second squared.
He’s gravity. And talk about consistency. He always wins. Always. You can’t beat him. Eventually, somehow or another, no matter how big you are, no matter how strong you are, no matter how fast you are…eventually… he’ll have you on the ground. Looking up. Maybe seeing stars.
Everybody plays by his rules. Which is okay because he has only one: What goes up, must… well, you know what it must do. That’s the rule. His rule. And just try breaking it.
That kickoff may be perfect but it’s not headed into orbit. It’s headed for the ground, just as his rule says. So is that beautiful spiral leaving those oh-so-talented fingertips with that oh-so-impressive velocity. Even the slo-mo can’t keep it in the air forever. Here it comes, back to earth. Pigskin. Apples. It don’t matter. It falls. We all do.
Maybe gravity is what keeps our game great. It fuels the unexpected, for sure. The ball that drops from heaven into the wrong hands, which are suddenly the right hands. At least for half the fans.
Gravity stops drives. We call it a fumble, but it’s just gravity on the job, doing what he does best.
Gravity stops runners. Call it a solo tackle if you want, but every tackle takes two guys working together. The guy in the uniform grabs the legs. Gravity does the rest.
Maybe gravity even stops teams. Hard to say. But lots of games have an ebb and flow. Nothing keeps moving in one direction forever. Even superb teams get scored upon. Even perfect teams that can’t be beaten, get beat.
Gravity at work? Could be. Gravity likes to keep things in balance. It doesn’t like things sitting up too high. But, of course, we do.
Beating gravity is the whole game, on the field or off. We want to soar. If we fall, we get up. If our team wins, we want it to keep right on winning. We want that kick to not only go up, but over. We want that pass to fly past opponents, powerless to stop it in its perfect flight to a glorious destination.
That’s what we love. Gravity has it’s rule and the rule can’t be broken. But that doesn’t mean it gets the last word. The last word belongs to the gravity defiers. Those who soar, even if it’s just for a time. That’s what we all want. That’s what we all do. Sometimes. And that’s why we all know that kicking gravity in the pants is one of life’s great joys.