The first temperature drop of the “fallish” season just came and went in Florida. I welcomed the momentarily relief from experiencing the unpleasant heat that has caused my sweat to sweat for the past 6 months. In my world, fall means eating Count Chocula cereal as fast as they make it, cooler weather, hockey and football. Specifically Detroit Lions football. As a native Detroiter, I understand if you felt sorry for me when you read that last line. I get that all the time. We are used to it. Yep, they are not the greatest team in the history of the NFL, but I love them, despite the fact that they meow more often than they roar. I do not know any way other than to root for my Lions.
I am proud to tell people I am a Lions fan and most think I am crazy. Detroit fans are a loyal bunch, even though they have every reason not to be. Aside from the Red Wings and the occasional Tigers season, people from Detroit have little to brag about when it comes to championships, hall of fame inductees, or even the state of the city itself in the past few years. While we may not have results to flaunt, there is one quality that we do have that is far more powerful than any ring or pennant. Loyalty.
Our continued support may seem misplaced or even foolish given the disappointment we feel year after year, or week after week or even quarter after quarter. Last night they lost the game when the highest paid player fumbled the ball before the goal line and it cost them the game. This is how we roll. We yell, we curse, we are asked by our sons if they can burn their jerseys, and then we wake up the next day and check to see when they play next week. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. The bottom line is that being a Detroit Lions fan is not for the weak of heart. I think that this world would be a better place if we were all Detroit Lion fans.
Think about it. How many people do you know are with you if you win, lose, suck, or fail? Loyalty is a lost concept on some. How many marriages, friendships and relationships have loyalty at their core? We are fiercely loyal and always hopeful. These two qualities are important not only for fans of sports teams, but for people in general. I am fortunate and grateful that my inner circle is made up of such people. After coming out I learned who had my back and who was more comfortable just hanging in the background as things unfolded. I was shocked by some, but not surprised by others. The experience gave me a new measuring stick and appreciation for the concept of loyalty.
First and foremost, my loyalty crew includes the three Lions fans I birthed, despite of the fact that they were raised in Florida. I would argue that this is one of my biggest accomplishments as a mom. I am blessed to have met and married the most loyal woman to ever walk this earth. Our wedding anniversary happens to be today and is another reason why the fall means so much to me. We finally got around to making our wedding book this weekend. One of the highlights of our honeymoon was sitting on the bed eating Count Chocula one night, because we could. I cannot describe what an amazing collection of memories our wedding was for us both. As we looked at the photos and smiled, I could not stop thinking about what she has always meant to me, and how loyal she has always been not only to me, but to everyone in her life.
Sure, she is loving, caring, funny, and kind. But damn is she loyal. Having a spouse who is loyal is more valuable than any of these traits. Knowing that someone will be there defending you, even if you are completely wrong at times, is priceless and powerful. There are those who believe that loyalty is earned, but I disagree. Loyalty is built over time and is impossible without unconditional love. This is reinforced every weekend after I pitch my customary Sunday afternoon fits of rage when the Lion’s collapse.
Being loyal is not always easy. Nothing that is worth anything is. I hope everyone is blessed to have people in their lives who are hell bent and determined to remain loyal through the changes, wins, and losses that we all go through in life. Loyalty is easy when things are going well. When the going gets tough, the loyal stick around. No matter how ridiculous I behave, how messed up I can be or how challenging life with me can be on any given day, I know unequivocally that she is ready to support me in any circumstance. Just like a Detroit fan.