What does it mean to be brave?

Just before the Super Bowl kickoff, Michael Douglas narrated a video segment called The Journey. It showed images of WWII vets, Martin Luther King Jr., firefighters at the World Trade Center… And then compared their accomplishments to the teams in the Super Bowl. “This is so much bigger than just a football game. These two teams have given us the chance for one night, not only to dream, but to believe.”

It seems that we in America have a twisted view of bravery and what it means to dream.

Recently, we have seen people in Tunisia and Egypt take to the streets to fight for their dreams, risking injury and death to see things changed for the better. When Americans take to the streets, it’s often because their basketball team won or lost.

Is there anything that would get Americans in the streets as a form of political protest? Why have games become so important to us?

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5 responses to “What does it mean to be brave?

  1. You’re so right…I’m very quick to judge, or to yell at the news, or share things on social media. But would I actually take to the streets for something? Risk my job? My life? I’m not sure.

    Very powerful post…

  2. i’m not sure what would get us moving to the streets. but as a military spouse, i, too, become baffled when i read about the “sacrifice” and bravery of football (or any sport) players. i was an athlete through college. you make that decision. sure, they sacrifice a little-you maybe don’t get to determine what you do all the time, you miss out on a couple of parties here and there, especially when you are training.

    but your sacrifice is selfish-it’s for a sport. that’s as far as it goes. there are people who literally sacrifice their LIVES-their breath, their being, in order for OTHER PEOPLE to have quality of life. and i am not just talking about our military.

    i appreciate this post so much. we sat around after that ad, joking that, “OF COURSE! WWII, overcoming prejudice and injustice, WTC attacks, that is JUST like a football game!” i get where they were going with that. it just missed the mark. terribly.

    • You bring a great perspective to it, Justine. They could have flipped things around and used it to honor the troops by recognizing football as the small struggle by the teams and then comparing it to the greater struggle for freedom, and then cut to the shots of the troops watching in Afghanistan on AFN, or something like that.

      I know that football players work hard at their careers – I don’t slight their efforts. I just think that segment trivialized the bravery of those who struggle to make the world a better place, not just to entertain.

  3. i agree-for sure, they have worked super hard through the season. i am a football fan, and i appreciate what they put their bodies through to provide me with (mostly) quality entertainment. i just don’t think there is a comparison in the amount of sacrifice =)

    oh, and they are compensated a little better too….. 😉

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