Posts Tagged ‘empowerment’

“Holy S#!%, we WON,” I screamed while running around my apartment, nearly knocking over a lamp and coming dangerously close to crushing a bookcase.

That was the scene in my house this past Monday night when the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Indianapolis Colts.  My excitement and love for my football team knows no bounds and Monday night provided another example of the lunacy that many Philadelphia Eagles fans experience on any given Sunday, Monday, or Thursday night.  Though some may call it cliched, football is my escape and has been for many years.

Just about a month ago, I lost my job as an Academic Coordinator due to budget cuts.  Like a recycled Hollywood movie plot, the scenario of losing a job and feeling petrified over making ends meet is a story that many people experience.  While I wish I could string together some flowery prose or develop a poignant metaphor to capture my feelings, the best way to sum it up is to come right out and say, “It Sucks!

Each morning I take to the computer and scour the classified websites, hoping that I will find a job that I love and will love me back.  Resume after resume, custom cover letter after custom cover letter, I continue to push forward.  I have to; failure is not an option because I have a family that depends on me and I refuse to fail.  I will, no matter what, do whatever it takes to take care of my family.  I cannot quit because my family depends on me.

That’s when it happened.  Literally moments before the second half kickoff, there I was saying, “I don’t know if I can handle this,” I had one of those epiphanies that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.

I’m not just a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I am the Philadelphia Eagles.  I am in my own proverbial halftime and yes, I am without a doubt, down.  The score does not look pretty and while others may think I do not have a chance in hell of coming back, I still have another half of football to play.  I have to be my own Chip Kelly and adjust during the half.  I cannot be deterred because a play I drew up did not get me the results I wanted.  After all, I still have another half of my life to play.

That is precisely what bleeding green means.  It is the complete and total embodiment of throwing yourself into something that you live for each week.  We all know the labels associated with being a Philadelphia Eagles fan.  If the description of who we are as a fan base was left to outsiders, the painted picture would be eerily similar to the Germanic tribes fighting the Romans in the opening scene of “Gladiator.”

We may beat our chests and scream until we are hoarse, boo players that do not play to their fullest potential, and we are guilty of grandiloquent speech and theory, but damn it, we bleed green.  Our wounds are deep but the devotion to our team runs deeper.  We are football maniacs in the moment and football scholars-in-training after the game.  We clamber to our televisions and radios in order to hear the profound words of Ray Didinger, the Socrates of Philadelphia Football.  The presets on our car radios are set for sports talk radio.  The jerseys of players in our closets run like a timeline found in history books.  The stories we tell our children about that one game, that one play or that one season is a bond that should not, will not and cannot be taken lightly.

I bleed green because the Philadelphia Eagles are my family.  While I certainly did not cry the same way I did when my Dad passed away, I felt equally as empty and directionless when Brian Dawkins left the Eagles and signed with the Denver Broncos.  I’ve given family second chances after they’ve done truly terrible things; reminiscent of accepting Michael Vick into our football family regardless of the strong opinions I had for him and his actions.  Family, unless they choose to walk away, are your family for life.

Undeniable are the collective wounds we wear on the very sleeves we wear our hearts; however, the Philadelphia Eagles are the wellspring of this city’s passion.  Passion is paramount to being a fan.  Some may question how being a Philadelphia Eagles fan is different than being a fan of any other team.  The answer is quite simple: ferocity.  If we fall behind, we will fight to reclaim what is rightfully ours.

I learned through my love for the Philadelphia Eagles that although I may be down at the half, I still have another half to come back and claim my victory.  Thank you, Philadelphia Eagles; not only have you given me something to cheer about, you’ve taught me that hope is a series of unrelenting pursuits driven by the idea that we can never give up.

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There are cheats, liars, embellishers, cons, BS’ers, smooth talkers, pathological nutbags, and straight up wastes of oxygen and flesh that roam this Earth.  It is a tremendously hard pill to swallow and I look forward to the optimists that try to show me the good in the world.  I know there is good in the world.  I know it because I am surrounded by individuals that try to develop the depth of character and soul that so many individuals in this world lack.  I love meeting new and interesting people; I just have a much shorter attention span for the aforementioned that want to brow beat you with their awesomeness!

As a comedian, I have realized that I hate comedians.  The persona on stage may be fantastic; however, it is the miserable curmudgeons and sensitive pricks that they turn to off stage that makes them wholly intolerable.  Comedians are sad, despondent, self-hating, bullshitters that in the midst of their self deprecating style of humor will let you know every single tidbit of information that makes them awesome.  If you are not a comedian, you are probably wondering what I mean by all of this.  Let’s put this into perspective…

You go to invest in a bank and instead of having to deal with one individual from the bank, all of the bank workers descend upon you and they are all telling you how great they are at managing money.  Sadly, you realize you’re at a TD Bank and you realize that if they were any good, they would be at an investment firm, not a place with a drive through teller.  Comedians, regardless of where they are performing, will always let you know how awesome they are.

I am awesome.  If I didn’t believe I was awesome, I would be ineffective on the stage.  However, I also recognize the awesomeness and douchiness of others.  At the New Orleans Comedy Festival, I realized the ratio of douche to cool comics was sadly at a 10:1 ratio.  I know that sounds bad and I’m sure a few of them will read this and will wonder, “Did he think I was a douche?”  Probably, yes!  It’s not that I am intolerant of differing personalities; it is that I have grown unaffected by the self righteous ass-clowns that are as entertaining as a knock-knock joke!

There are those that forget that they are not always on stage.  I understand that we are in the business of making people laugh, but I also am in the business of being myself.  That is when you accept yourself for who you are.  Are there changes to be made?  Absolutely, and if you believe that you don’t have changes to make then you really should just check out and make way for someone else in this world.  Harsh?  No, it’s called truth and some people don’t like the truth because the old cliche is true…the truth hurts.

When individuals want to impress another with their possessions, we easily cast them off as they are nothing more than sad little turdfarmers trying to cultivate enough turds to look and sound impressive.  In High School, a classmate drove a Lexus.  Now, I would have shown an incredible amount of respect for this person if he bought the car on his own.  Sadly, his Daddy bought for him.  Then we blur the lines of jealousy and wonder, do I really not like this person because of what he has and I am jealous of his possessions, or is his character so flawed that we all recognize that persons level of pomposity and  would  rather eat razor blades than listen to one more ski trip story?  This is usually the super-model girlfriend having guy but she’s from Sweden type person.  He rationalizes that it is better that he does not have any photos of her because she is so beautiful, that when photos of her are taken, all that can be seen is a blinding white light that will burn your retinas.  Pathological by design, pathetic by nature.

Men are not the only ones that are guilty of perpetrating a false sense of identity into the world.  After an hour of morning grooming, there are women in this world that so falsely advertise who they are that when the make up comes off, the outfit is removed, the shoes are kicked off, all you are left with is a rolled out piece of silly putty that possesses the ability to speak.  The battle of the sexes need not be a battle, but when a woman comes prepared to fight with six inch heels and scores of Bobbi Brown make-up, she quickly becomes a cunning adversary.  You think you are ready to duke it out with a woman that looks like Giselle, but by the end she looks like a gazelle.

Fake people make up a tremendous part of the population.  I do not fault the individual for bending the truth and fixing the imperfections.  However, when a person recognizes that they have patched up quite a few holes in the proverbial tire that is who they are, there is no reason to perpetuate the myth any further.  When individuals pick on others to make themselves feel better, we call them bullies.  When people pick on themselves to make others feel better, we call them comedians.  When a person fraudulently puts out into this world a persona that is not truly who they are, we just resort to calling them people.  That is the sad reality of internal integrity; we accept things for face value.

If face value was how we operated this world, there would not be huge discrepancies between what people make.  If we did things according to face value, an individual could go see a movie and after that movie walk up to roll call and say, I want half of my money back because that movie was half way decent.  Imagine those individuals coming out of the theater after Waterworld.  “Excuse me, I’d like all of my money back and while you’re at it, throw me another twenty dollars for enduring that flaccid piece of whale spunk.”  Face value would crumble our economy.

If face value were real, lawyers would be obsolete.  “Your honor, this person side swiped my car, there was $5,000 in damage, I was out of work for six months, which is the equivalent of $25,000, and my wife and I argued for six months because we were broke, I would say that’s another $100,000.”  The judge would take it into consideration, the insurance company would write the check right there, and everyone would just go home.  Instead, there are scheming individuals that find ways to up the ante so they can up their take home.  If it is what it is, then it should come out exactly what it is.

If face value were real, teachers and policemen would be millionaires, and rich, ass-hats like Bill Gates and the Facebook kid would make enough to get by.  There is a price on what we value in this country and if it means bigger, better, and faster, then we are all for it.  Those with little to no internal integrity would continue to develop products that we want and do not need and eventually, we would all recognize humility is far more valuable than Hummers, love is infinitely more priceless than Gucci, your child’s baseball coach is paramount to learning life lessons while Coach is merely the product that your child covets.

“If it’s change you seek, start from within.  Once you’re comfortable with who you’ve become, start over and recognize perfection is a pursuit, not an end result.”