I have to be honest. Although I have never been a big fan of American football, it has a great many enthusiastic followers, so there must be something to it.
Perhaps it’s just the American approach to sports. It’s terms like “World Series” when only one country is involved that fill me with laughter.
So when I was asked to write about the Super Bowl this week, I was admittedly a little annoyed at having to write about the “other” football (more on that later!). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what some gentle ribbing and some good old football banter could do for our health as guys. How often do you get the chance to spend a whole day with friends these days? Getting together and being social (and maybe even being active!) can do wonders for your mental wellness and in some cases may be just what the doctor ordered!
Now, for me, serious football (soccer, to this Scot), is one in which the whole world is involved, such as in World Cup soccer. That event truly deserves the name “world.” And if you want ferocious, just check out the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team for some really tough men with ugly tongues! Staring down those boys is no joke. These fellas mean business.
OK, I know you are probably inventing all of your little comeback lines and getting hot under the collar as you read this, but hold on a minute! Isn’t this the whole point? One of my favorite things about getting together with the lads for a good game (whether World Cup or, ahem, “World” Series) is the banter and camaraderie. Bring it on!
Also, the beauty of a great move such as the one by the Seahawks against the Packers last week that sealed the game at the last moment is incredibly exciting. It brings us all together! I still have not forgotten walking home with a group from a Glasgow Celtic game, either elated or in the deepest despair. We take our teams’ outcomes very seriously!
My son would say “old man, you don’t understand the game.” And he’d be right. But here’s the point: I don’t think that matters so much. Of course you will have the guys argue about specific plays in rugby, soccer, or American football and at least a bit of understanding is required to take part in that conversation so that you can show your opponent that he is wrong, but the sport around which that takes place is less important than the group of guys who sit together and argue the points. This opportunity to spend a whole day together just talking and hanging out is important for mental wellness and it’s something that we guys unfortunately don’t do enough of!
It’s all about getting together with folks and having some fun.
Imagine no hockey or football or rugby – I guarantee that something else would have taken its place. Maybe even another really exciting game like Irish football. Naw!
So, although this particular man is not a big fan of the Super Bowl, you might just find him with a group of guys watching the game and arguing the finer points of which he knows little. Getting together is the finer point.
So, guys, get together this Super Bowl and have a whale of a time with some good food, a few friends, and maybe the odd little manly tongue-in-cheek humorous argument. It’s all part of the package. Stay well.
About Jim Coyle
Jim is a tobacco reduction coordinator with the men’s health program, and has a background in psychiatry and care of the elderly. In former times, Jim was director of care at Simon Fraser Lodge and clinical coordinator at the Brain Injury Group. He came to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland 20 years ago and, when not at work, Jim plays in the band Out of Alba and spends time with his family.