It was pretty cold, but nothing compared to the moody winter chaos that I left in southwest Michigan just a few hours prior. After having snowed over a foot in under 24 hours (properly dubbed “Lake Effect” snow to those in the know), I welcomed the light breeze and cold fingers because the ground was simply uncovered. No slush, crunch, wet, or slickness.
My brother and his wife were gracious enough to gift me one of my 30 Before 30 items for my birthday—a ticket to an NFL game. At LP Field in Nashville, we hobnobbed in the very top row of the upper balcony, laughing at the surrounding southern slang. And since none of us had any allegiance to the Titans or the Colts, we could simply cheer for “offense!” and “football!”
An NFL game demonstrates American excessiveness at its pinacle. Not one, but two extremely large video screens paralleled each other on opposite end zones. Dee Jay Silver picked just the right heart-pumping beat and crowd-pleasing pop song in between every play. The announcer, “Duke,” had an almost drunken sound to his aging voice. Periodically, the Titans’ cheerleaders would bounce in time to music. I guess you could call it dancing, but with all the blond hair and partially unzipped jackets I’m not sure anyone was paying attention to their moves.
There was no such thing as dead time, even during commercial breaks. Honestly, everything was so well produced that it felt like one of my childhood video games and not a real event.
We joked about what it would be like for a foreigner to experience this kind of unnecessary American opulence. Would it be overwhelming, sad, or gross?
Another one down, thanks to my generous brother and his beautiful wife. Less than a year left, and I’ve got quite a few to go!