As we grow and mature, we seldom reach out to strangers. Our greetings are reserved for friends and family. We sense a disconnect, but are not sure what to do about it.
The needs of the human heart have not changed even if technology has altered the many ways we communicate. We still recognize the value of shared experiences and memories. We respond to ritual and homecoming . We appreciate the teamwork needed in the quest to compete and win. And so as the temperatures cool, we really are ready for some football.
Seated in a stadium with thousands of other fans, some of them painted with team colors and wearing bad wigs, we have a common goal---we want our team to win, no, we want them to annihilate the other team all in the name of healthy competition and good sportsmanship, of course.
Last weekend our family attended my first University of Virginia football game. The energy of the students and fans was contagious. The band, the cheerleaders and the pageantry helped build the excitement. Favorite cheers, "Let's go wahoos," (Don't ask me how a Cavalier mascot developed into a wahoo cheer, but I think it has a long and fabled history.) reverberated through the stadium and, at times, the team responded. We didn't taste victory that day, but we did connect as the 12th man on the field. We booed questionable calls, we cheered 1st downs and touchdowns. It was a feast of compatibility.
So maybe our culture is not always so great about keeping the lines of communication open. Maybe we isolate ourselves with busyness. But we do know and understand the bonds developed because of a game called football.