Are you suffering from football fatigue yet? Or are you more like me, feeling more than a little down about the prospect of so many Sundays without a game? I promise, this is the last of the Super Bowl posts. I’ve had quite a few people inquire about how a mom blogger from Indy winds up in the Super Bowl edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, though, so I thought I’d share the story.
Every year, Indianapolis hosts the NFL Scouting Combine in late February. Two years ago during the Combine, my friend Amy invited me to a Tweetup at Scotty’s Brewhouse featuring Sports Illustrated’s football writer Peter King. She knew that I enjoyed football and thought I might have a good time. I had no clue who Peter was, but give me a night out without the kids, some beer and fried pickles and I’ll listen to just about anyone.
I sat there for nearly 2 hours and was mesmerized. One of the reasons I love football is for the stories. Each team has its own host of characters, its history, its rivalries. I’d never heard anyone talk football and weave these great stories through nearly every conversation. I introduced myself to Peter afterwards, shared a little bit about my family, and gave him my business card with my blog info on it.
I became a big fan of his column and followed him on Twitter. Every once in awhile we’d have a brief conversation on Twitter. Last year we met again at the Combine Tweetup, and this time I brought Mike along. We chatted again about the kids, the blog, and, of course, football. I asked Peter to help me out with a donation to the school silent auction last fall, and he came through in a big way. So when he asked me for a favor last week of course I said, “Sure!”
His good friends from New Jersey were coming to the game on rather short notice, and there were no rooms to be found within 60 miles of Indy. Did we have room? Is that too weird? Yes and no. We were already hosting another out-of-town guest, my friend Patty. And where did I meet Patty? Um, the Combine Tweetup. Homes are meant for fellowship … guests are always welcome.
When we tell people that hosting was our pleasure, we really mean it. It seems selfish, actually – we got so much more out of it than our guests. We enjoyed a great dinner out on Saturday evening with Peter and his friends, Mike and I slack-jawed as Doug Flutie stopped by our table. I lived vicariously through Patty’s stories of being on the field for Media Day and rubbing shoulders with team owners at the Commissioner’s Party. We got to know Peter’s friends, Jack and Karin, over pancakes and bacon at our kitchen table. They graciously offered to host us in New York and Elena nearly zipped herself up in their luggage on the spot. We pretended, just for a few minutes, that we were headed to the Super Bowl.
It’s easy to look at social media and complain about how it isolates us from actual human interaction. But in so many ways I’ve found the exact opposite to be true. I love the access it gives you to people you might never have had the chance to meet. For the most part, if you interact often enough with people online, their true nature reveals itself. Time and time again, this medium has introduced me to people who become real-life friends.
And that, my Internet friends, is how we found ourselves with guests from New Jersey and St. Louis in our home last weekend and on SI.com come Monday. What a fun world we live in these days.