It was my third game in a week. I looked at the unnaturally lit sky above the outdoor arena. Giant, architecturally diverse skyscrapers loom. Behind them, recently airborne jumbo jets slowly ascend into the stratus and beyond. My gaze lowers to a crowd pushing 40 thousand...all of them reacting in unison (with frightening passion and fervor) to anything from a hand gesture to a barely visible orb hurtling through the air at a hundred miles per hour and bouncing off a green wall. Above it, a massive video screen displaying pictures of players and statistics of their progress in real-time.
I watch...and I wonder...does anyone find all of this astounding?
We are surrounded by the staggering achievements of mankind...the prodigious achievements of civilized humanity...and within these steel walls our hopes and our dreams merge to form a focused, collective need hinging on the performance of a few dozen uniformed men. A city within a city, with it's own history and mythology. Amazing. Where else can one find contentment in feeling so small and unremarkable. Every once in a while, a celebrity might pass by...like a dream of the outside. Today it was Stephen King, his extraordinary accomplishments muted against the backdrop of the half-dozen screaming, painted, shirtless warriors behind him. We were all adherents to the Gods on the field performing for us...for US. Craziness.
Hours later, leaving the arena, the sensations and awe begin to fade...but there is lingering joy. The things that seemed so important just a little while ago still have impact as the other things that were important prior to the experience begin to resurface...the aspirations, the plans, the hopes, the bills...maybe they're all a little less daunting, now. Maybe they aren't so wistful or quixotic. If it's possible to get so many people...tens of thousands of people...in the same mindset in the same place at the same time...well...LOTS of things seem possible.