A member of our digital team and a native Vancouverite, Sairah has always considered herself a fierce competitor. Here is her story of finding a love of practice and camaraderie in the most unlikely of places.
Growing up in a household with 3 brothers, competition showed up just about everywhere. When they started disappearing on Sundays to watch football – I insisted on getting involved. Naturally, in the spirit of competition, I picked my team by choosing the mortal enemy of my brother’s team. He cheers for the Minnesota Vikings, so since that day my Sunday hopes and dreams have lived with the Green Bay Packers.
As someone new to the game, I set out to learn everything; the rules, the players and the history. I wanted to hit the ground running (there’s that competitive thing again). Sundays slowly became my favourite day of the week and I lived for the emotional rollercoaster that every play took me on. What I didn’t realize was that I was actually participating in something much larger than a few touchdowns. On the surface winning is obviously the best part, there is no doubt about that – but what I was learning was that it was the practice of football that had me so focused on coming back for more.
I’m not talking pads and drills practice, I’m talking about the ritual that brings friends together for 17 Sundays. No matter what happens in my week, on the 7th day I meet up with friends and family alike to spend uninterrupted time together. Rivalries spark conversations and it’s easy to meet new people around you because of the common interest. You’re wearing the same colour jersey as me - good, different colour – bad, but we’ll probably be friends anyway. The passion for your team overshadows the work-week behind you and the camaraderie of the day delays the week ahead. Everyone’s energy is focused in the same place at the same time – a rare occurrence these days.
When you look past what happens on the field, you’re met with a dynamic group of people united by 4 quarters of football. Some fans can point out the intricacies of a defense while others can barely tell which team is on offence, but regardless of their level of knowledge they are spending their Sundays experiencing the practice of football. This practice of football is a room full of people whose minds are clear from outside distractions, living in a moment together. It may seem bold to claim that football is not about competition, but when I look at what it brings to my life I see something that brings people together rather than divides them.
Today is a big day down in New Orleans! Is there an unlikely place you find serenity and calm? And who are you cheering for today?