Failure is My Friend: Eli Manning Edition

Failure is my friend and I love sports because they are all about failure and the ability to get back up and do whatever it is you do again soon after failing to begin with. Cool stuff.

I waste a good amount of time watching sports on TV. All pursuits being equal, life can be defined by what you do to spend/waste your time. I have a decent amount of energy so I can obsess on a number of things to pass my time including professional sports.

My love of football goes back to childhood with fond memories of watching football in our smoked filled basement with the windows closed and my father puffing away on cigarette after cigarette. The day we got a color TV is still sharp in my mind as a memory of just how incredibly green the grass looked. Last week I asked my Brother and we had the same recollection of my father leaning back to celebrate a Jets touchdown and crashing to the ground as the chair exploded beneath him.

Right now it is a good time to be a New York Giants football fan. The Giants have treated me well my whole life with championships in 1987, 1991, 2008, 2012. Who can complain about that? But again, right now is a particularly good time to be a Giants fan becuase we get to watch Eli Manning who is a special creature. Eli is a yogi.

Detachment is a concept in yoga that I find very appealing. The idea is that there is a here and now. This very moment; that passes and changes with every new moment. The idea is to live in that moment becuase the past is past and done and really has no effect on the present unless you allow it to, and the future hasn’t happened yet so why worry about that. This equanimity of living in the moment is exactly what I search for and exactly what Eli Manning has going for him every Sunday when he steps on the football field.

This past Sunday was no exception. The idea isn’t to thrill your fans by playing poorly and then win in the end though that does make for exciting football. Towards the end of the game Eli failed twice in catastrophic fashion that seemed impossible to overcome. Yet, when the time came with a minute left, a passing play almost the length of the field materialized and the Giants won.

Eli’s ability to blow it repeatedly and remain unfazed through it all is my mark of a true yogi and I feel very lucky that he is on the team I root for.