There was a quiet stillness hanging in the mile-high air of Denver. The crowds cultivated love in their mouths and in the sound of hands coming together. The cast of characters was set and grooving to the legend of football glory. Manning (serious, head full of x’s and rotating o’s), Brady (contemplative, conscious of the mud beneath his feet), Bailey (roaming free), Bill Belichick (brooding, burying awe in his shirt sleeves). Both opponents were sluggish to start. Timid and too fixed on the vibrato of their histories. M. Prater found the uprights for twelve.
In Manning, (and Brady, though not quite the same) we see ourselves. Or the thing that we live to uproot. The rugged. The magnificent. The record of victory on a field of battle. The conception of freshness. A learned sincerity for focus. Admiration for process, preparation, hard-work. O what power to be plucked from the soul! He is a reflection of America that never was and the America that is. That throbs from the weight of her own beauty. We must not lust for something far gone, something absent from what lives; we must put eyes on what is. Manning’s grace is no stranger than the blowing of wind. Or the slapping of seas. We are what the earth sings. What the gridiron spits up.
These are our football dreams. Where we discover sameness. And Manning. The performance. The play, is the thing we all are wakening at once. The thing, living. [w.f]