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  • Nanci

Losing Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the Super Bowl on the same day

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

I moved to Denver 30 years ago a flaming Raider fan. But as any Denverite will tell you, it only takes a few years in the Mile High City to come to love the Broncos. By the late 80’s when Elway was winning playoffs and taking us to the Superbowl, I had turned into a flaming Bronco fan. Some years I’m more flaming than others. Mostly I love it when they win. I like to win, I like backing winners, and I like when the team I stick my “fan-neck” out for displays a great competitive capacity to WIN. I identify myself as a winner because I am fan of the winning team.

Not 2 minutes into the game I am literally writhing on the floor in agony at the score. Thankfully I chose to watch the game with other adults because I suspected my game day behavior might worry young people. The rest, as they say, is history. We made history in all the wrong ways and for all the wrong stats. It was like my team didn’t even show up on the field. Just like some aliens had taken over their minds and bodies and they acted and behaved contrary to who I had come to know. I know they have a talent, skill, capacity that they did not bring to the Super Bowl. For whatever reason that day, they were not their best. And consequently I feel that affect. Right or wrong, I feel a sense of loss and failure in myself.

Truth be told, I watch the Super bowl as much for the commercials as the game. This year a beautiful commercial for tablets continually repeats the phrase “…that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse—what will your verse be?” Honestly, my “verse” during the Super Bowl was resting on the choices of a bunch of men on a field. I allowed it to affect my attitude during and after (and maybe still) the game when it really had nothing to do with me.

While we were all bemoaning the ongoing agony of watching our team lose, we surfed the net for information about the loss of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Just the sound of his name elicits respect. Drug overdose. Heroin. Instead of meeting up with his three small children for the afternoon, something inside Phillip drove him to shoot up. Even though he had been sober for 23 years, just a couple years ago he began using again. I know him from Capote, State of Main, Charlie Wilson’s War, Along Came Polly, A Late Quartet, Magnolia, Doubt, Moneyball, Ides of March, The Master, and Hunger Games, just to name a few (really this is just a few of his movies). What an extremely talented man. Artistic genius angst. How tragic that he robed the world of his future talent. How catastrophic that he robed his children of his future presence. Addiction kills. We all need to sit up and take note that the heart of the addict must be healed, not the behavior managed. I wish people close to him could have intervened. I bet they wish that too. Who around me needs me to see their heart?

Am I winner or a loser if I back the winning or losing team? Can I make choices that help myself and those around me look deeper into my heart and soul?

“…that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse—what will your verse be?”

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