Lest we forget, it was just a game

Published 12:00am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It was a football game.

Yes, it was the Iron Bowl and it decided which team played for the Southeastern Conference title. It was still a football game.

That said, for many folks it was a big deal and chatter about the amazing ending continues, hanging on kind of like bits of toilet paper in Toomer’s Corner. There are some losing fans congratulating winning fans. Several go as far as wishing luck to the team that defeated their team and hoping they keep the championship in the state. That is classy.

There are, however, fans on both sides who are not so kind. Comments about the “other” team’s fans range from mild to burning hatred. And, those emotions spilled over into acts that left one person injured and one dead.

In Arab, a family shooting fireworks had a man appear and start to beat up the father. When the wife tried to stop the attacker, he told her she was next. The man, apparently angry about the game, got violent at a nearby Iron Bowl party. He left that party and took his anger out on people he didn‘t even know.

At this point, let me insert two words — FOOTBALL GAME.

During another party in Hoover, two women got into an argument that ended in one shooting and killing the other. Speculation is it started because the shooter thought the victim was not upset enough about Alabama’s loss.

Reality check – Football is a game played by two teams of 11 players on a rectangular field 100 yards long; teams try to get possession of the ball and advance it across the opponent’s goal line in a series of (running or passing) plays.

A game, it’s a game.

I’m not saying it is not great to support your favorite team, to celebrate when the team wins and to be less than happy when it losses. Humans are social animals and like being with their group, sharing and feeling apart of something.

Still, in the “big picture,” the 2013 Iron Bowl is a very small step in the march of time and not worth losing friends or lives over. That is especially true when you consider this:

On the day of the game, worldwide there were about 150,000 deaths. While we anticipated and watched the game, according to UNICEF 22,000 children died due to poverty.

Millions of people spent the hours of that day collecting water. About 21,000 died due to hunger or hunger-related causes. That’s one person every four seconds — makes that last one second of a football game a little less important.

More than four children died because of child abuse and every 10 seconds Saturday there was a report of child abuse made. Maybe we should talk more about those 10 seconds.

On a happier note, there were about 300,000 births, 11,000 of those happened in America. On the day of this game, an estimated 7,000 couples in this country got married. So there were things other than running and kicking a pigskin going on, even though it didn’t feel like it to a lot of folks in Alabama.

And finally, on average in our galaxy, estimates are that one new star is born per year, and one star dies. These rates are different in different types of galaxies, but this is roughly what experts think is the average over all galaxies in the Universe.

They estimate about 100 billion the number of galaxies in the observable Universe. Therefore, there are about 100 billion stars being born and dying each year, which corresponds to about 275 million per day, in the whole observable Universe.

So, 275 million stars were born or died on Sat., Nov. 30, 2013. That pretty much makes the Iron Bowl less than a tiny blip in the grand scheme of things.

On that note, let’s take a collective step back, breathe deeply, join hands and repeat together.

“IT WAS A FOOTBALL GAME.”

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