Letter #688: The Super Bowl & Complacency

Dear complacency,

Well, it’s definitely taken me nearly three weeks to write this, but I still haven’t been able to let this post go so I’m still rolling with it!

I can’t stop thinking about the Super Bowl. Alright, that’s a stretch. But after the largest comeback win ever to happen in a Super Bowl, Lady Gaga bringing a ‘normal’ performance, Tom Brady winning his 5th ring to seal his fate as the “greatest quarterback ever” and the complete collapse of the Falcons in the second half, I really haven’t been able to get rid of a thought that keeps milling around in my head.

The Atlanta Falcons all but had the Super Bowl in the bag, 25 points up, outplaying the Patriots at every position. Then the second half occurred.

I don’t know what happened during the Falcons halftime (maybe the ‘crazy Gaga’ we all expected), but they came out flat and looked like a completely different team. Whether the Patriots won the game or the Falcons gave it away, I’m still not sure. What I do know is my perception of the second half Falcons has left an imprint on me.

So back to that thought I’ve had milling around in my head. I’m not going to sit here and say I have a clue concerning professional football, but the way the game ended has reminded me of the importance of finishing.

Our culture is seething with complacency, and the Super Bowl was simply a microcosm. As I assessed the Falcons’ collapse, all I could really think about was how I do the exact same thing. We see it happen in every day life all the time. Even more often, it happens without us ever seeing it. People start something then fail to follow through. A healthier lifestyle, building a savings account, books (reading and writing), ideas we never do anything with, relationships that run into disagreement, being part of a small group, initiating friendships and so much more.

And in one breath, I can say I see this all around me, but I can’t even take another breath without acknowledging my own personal struggle. In this season, I see it in my commitment to take time to write. I want to do it. I have the ideas already in my head. I think about them in the shower and on my walks to work. But when push comes to shove, actually choosing to create the margin and focus it takes to write is much more difficult than thinking about it. The Super Bowl was more than two weeks ago and the post hasn’t been written until now. It’s hard, like playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

And there’s no room for you in this pursuit to be a finisher. Complacency might be our greatest enemy. It’s easier to skim social media a little longer, watch one more episode of This Is Us, eat one more bowl of Blue Bell or hit snooze just a little longer. Y’all, we are naturally lazy people. And the only way to combat this is to proactively play with a chip on our shoulder every day of our life. If not, 25 point lead or not, we will lose. We may make it all the way to whatever the Super Bowl is of our lives, but we won’t ever fully taste what it’s like to be the victor.

It’s not about winning, but I long to live my life in a way that matters. And operating with complacency does nothing but detract from this. Paul says it this way: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Cor. 9:24 

I’m playing to win. I’m keeping the chip smack in the middle of my shoulders. I’m combatting complacency at every turn, remembering that it’s seething in our culture, waiting to strike. This doesn’t mean I’ll always win by the world’s standards. The Patriots still may snag the Super Bowl after a valiant comeback, but I will live in a way that I’ll never look back and wonder what could have been. So today I write the post I’ve been thinking about for two weeks. The good news is, the old saying better late than never is true when it comes to combatting complacency in our lives! But it all starts with a choice.


Letter #458: Super Bowl Commentary

Dear Super Bowl,

I intended to write a full post on you, but as the night went on there were too many directions I could take on your post. Here’s a conglomeration of some of them and my random thoughts throughout the game:

  • Do I even need to watch the shows Smash or The Voice after how many previews I watched?!
  • How many mill do Budweiser/Bud Light, Coca-Cola and Doritos drop each year on commercials? Would their sales change at all if they didn’t?
  • How full of yourself do you have to be to have 300 Spartan soldiers carry you in to perform in front of hundreds of millions of people?
  • Justin Tuck has a J. Lo booty. Seriously, after sacking Brady at the end of the game he rose with a flat back and his booty bump had more of a hump than J. Lo’s!

    Not exactly what I was looking for but as close as I could find...I had my whole watch party laughing on this one!
  • M.I.A.: nobody even knew who you were without checking on Twitter. Obscene gestures during the most viewed event of the entire year probably aren’t the best way to break out of your shell. P.S. Who even actually noticed it in real time anyway??
  • How good is the Giants defensive front? They pressured Brady all night long. Fellas, never fear, I can also make awesome treats to eat while watching the game! 🙂
  • Congratulations Eli, you have broken out of Peyton’s little brother status for good.
  • Giants vs. Patriots=perfect opportunity to wear my blue pants with red Toms shamelessly
How long do my legs look in this?!
  • Madonna performed as a Spartan cheerleader at the age of 53…and pulled it off.
  • A playoff system exists resulting in a game coming down to the wire where people want to watch regardless of their alliances?! Hmmm…..rocket science. College football, take note.
  • Kelly Clarkson can belt it…I’m stoked for her concert March 14th!
  • Of all the millions of dollars spent on commercials, here are my top three: 1) M&M’s…”Oh, so it’s that kind of party!” 2) Budweiser Prohibition and Budweiser Eternal Optimism…not funny, but very well thought out and endearing. 3) Volkswagon dog’s weight loss program…I could have done without the Star Wars portion though.
  • How would you feel if you were Eli Manning’s wife and never mentioned while Giselle provides entire stories of her own?!
  • Jimmy Fallon’s Post Game Show…hilarious.
I promise I actually watched the game, but you provide too many intangibles to comment on outside of the game. I genuinely love the Sunday when you arrive. You have the ability to bring people together to fellowship like nothing else and for the most part can be family friendly (minus the David Beckham and GoDaddy ads).
Let’s do it again in a year,
Super Bowl commenter
What were your favorite commercials or random, hilarious thoughts from last night?!?!

Letter #130: Carter Theater

Dear 106 million+,

I hope you were as entertained as I was as you indulged yourself with countless hours of Super Bowl XLV. Sure, the game was close…Go Packers! Plus, it’s pretty difficult to win when you turn the ball over three times, yet the Steelers were still in it until the last minute. Not to mention, there was enough hair and tattoos to contemplate for the entirety of the game…everyone’s just waiting for their big Head n’ Shoulders break I guess!

The commercials were mediocre…entertaining at best. I think Doritos, Pepsi Max and Bud Light spent their entire budget in one night with the number of ads belonging to them. Personal favorites: Bridgestone beaver; VW Darth Vader; Audi prison break; Doritos licking fingers; Pepsi Max love hurts. I won’t be purchasing any of the items I just listed. Will you guys? I sure hope so, or else their $2.7 million went to waste.

Not sure about your food, but mine was superb. Ribs, potato salad, chocolate cake and Blue Bell. I’m also convinced I viewed the game in the best location out of all of us…The Carter Home Theater. I couldn’t have hand chosen a better place to watch the big game and spend time with friends.

Lastly, I’m pretty sure the 50 million of you over the age of 40, maybe even 35, hated the halftime show. The other half of you were likely split. Some hated the Black Eyed Peas. Others loved the new flavor. I ere to the love side. It was hip. Fun. Innovative. Sure, they…Fergie…didn’t sound great, but who actually does live these days besides ex-Idol winners?! Plus, an Usher appearance can never be a bad thing…that boy can dance! I’m just dying to know how much those field dancers get paid. If they don’t, they better at least get to keep the space suits!

Hope you’re night was as fun as mine. Now, let’s all remove ourselves from the TV and do something active!

Would absolutely pay to see a Black Eyed Peas concert and for sure an Usher one,

Fan of the Carter Home Theater

Letter #129: Super Bowl Serious

Dear Super Bowl,

You have a long history of being an exciting day for Americans. Parties are hosted in your honor, viewers anticipate your commercials and when it’s all said and done we enjoy the game but in the end can’t remember who won after a few years.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as excited as the next person about you today. This is the one time I watch TV and don’t channel surf during commercials. We can only hope 2011 brings some great laughs and classics to the commercial legacy you have left (play some of my favs below!). They better…the going rate for 30 seconds of air time this year is 2.7 million dollars.

I also look forward to your halftime show. You never know what you’re going to get during it…Who can ever forget the wardrobe malfunction?! I just like actually seeing what’s happening at halftime. Black Eyed Peas…don’t disappoint us!

And the food…we can’t proceed without talking about the food. You lead people to bring out all the stops. You involve the best of the best tailgating food. Man, I’m already getting excited to eat this goodness with some fun people (not this, but I liked the pic!)!

While you bring all sorts of laughter, treats, fellowship and the last football game for months, my eyes have recently been opened to a whole new element surrounding you. Matt Chandler, a very trendy, truth-speaking, prominent pastor in Dallas, tweeted about this one day, and I was immediately intrigued.

Sex trafficking. I heard the founder of this organization speak on this topic a year ago and have been burdened ever since. Approximately 27 million people are in modern day slavery as we speak. Many of those as sex slaves. At least 1 million of these are sex trafficked children. 27 million. I want to throw up I’m so disgusted. What’s equally daunting is that it revenues somewhere between 12 and 32 billion dollars a year.

The majority of this is happening overseas, particularly in Europe, but it’s happening in our borders as well. Nearly 20,000 foreigners will be trafficked into the U.S. a year as well as close to 300,000 of our own young girls. My mind is seriously baffled right now.

So what does sex trafficking have to do with you? Well, believe it or not, trafficking increases during you. There’s more money, more opportunity and more people in one place, and you have become a prime opportunity for it to happen. Not to mention, 25% of U.S. victims already reside in Texas.

Thankfully, Texas and Dallas specifically are being proactive in this fight. They have increased these divisions of their police units, the attorney general is on board to fight and superstars are taking a stand…I love this video.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/18445593″>Traffick 911 PSA 10</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/natebernard”>Nate Bernard</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

I’m excited about you today just as always. My heart is also burdened for 27 million people in our world who feel as if they have no hope. As we cheer on the Pack or the Steelers (I’ve decided I’m rooting for the Pack) and laughing at 2.7 million dollar ads, let’s not forget what real life looks like for some of our kind.

Go Pack and Jay Ratliff,

Enjoyer of your snacks

***Most of my resources are linked above. The A21 campaign and Not for Sale are two of tons of ways to get involved in this catastrophe happening under our watch.