[T]his year’s BCS National Championship Game has already generated a lot of talk, and now it has generated what I believe to be visual proof of how big games can bring out the kid in all of us.
The proof is in a video, which was posted on the web last month.
The video shows what appears to be a typical Christmas gathering, and the camera rolls as a father opens a gift from his son.
He searches dramatically through a maze of jumbled tissue paper inside of a bag, and laughs heartily when he opens it.
The father’s hand disappears into the bag for a moment and retrieves what some would call a fedora, and I’d call a hat.
The hat is a brown one. It appears to be your average, run-of-the-mill headwear, but the father is overjoyed.
His smile spreads wide as he exclaims he could have worn the hat to church that morning.
Then, with a simple question, the video gets interesting.
When his son asks what size the hat is, the father removes it from its place atop his head and looks inside.
After a few seconds of peering into the depths of the hat, the father’s countenence changes completely when he notices what he missed in his previous excitement.
Sheer joy is etched on his face when he discovers tickets to the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame tucked inside of his newly-opened present.
For a few moments the father cannot speak so his son speaks for him.
“We’re going to the game, Pop,” his son says loudly. “We’re going to the game!”
The father laughs and cries all at once as he stares at the ticket in his hand.
He gives his son a hug and lets out a shout before managing to compose himself long enough to crack a joke.
“I hope these are good seats,” he said, before a smile ran across his face again.
He was readily assured the seats were actually in Sun Life Stadium in South Florida, and he and his son would be there Jan. 7 to watch and cheer as the Crimson Tide and Notre Dame play for college football’s biggest prize.
After a few more outbursts of emotion, the father stared squarely into the camera, held the ticket aloft and hollered the only word he could.
The video provided me a refreshing change from the media’s talking heads, who are relentlessly bombarding us with anecdotes about how Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has done a remarkable job to bring the Fighting Irish back to the top of the football world or how Alabama coach Nick Saban has done well to keep the Crimson Tide there.
The clip is a break from the drone about two vaunted defenses, and the advantages of having a young, talented quarterback or a veteran one who has earned a ring.
It’s a respite from wondering if Alabama will keep the crystal football in the state for the fourth consecutive year, or if it will return to South Bend where the championship trophy has not resided since 1988, when former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz brought it there after a 34-21 victory against West Virginia.
The joy abounding throughout the 1 1/2-minute video serves as a reminder of the fact the big game — as important and serious as it is — proves it’s still acceptable for adults to laugh like a kid on Christmas morning.