“Flashbulb memories” is a psychology term used to define specific moments. Or, at least that’s what I think it’s called. I only eeked out a B in my Psych 101 class in college.
Either way, these moments are referred to as such because – for the rest of your life – you will be able to remember where you were, who you were with and even little things like what you were wearing or eating when you think of them in future years. Most of the time, you never see these moments coming. They just, well, sort of blindside you, leaving you alone to figure out how you’ll remember them.
Sunday, January 23, 2011 will not blindside anyone.
You already know – or at least, you SHOULD already know - that’s going to be one of those days. For the rest of your life, you will remember every little thing about that day. You’ll remember which jersey, t-shirt or hat you had on. You’ll remember who you were with. You’ll remember if Adam made enough food for everyone (which, of course, he will have done). Was it snowing? What was the temperature outside? Trust me, you’ll remember.
Packers. Bears. Soldier Field. For the right to play for the world championship (that’s what they give to the team that wins its last game, Vikings fans).
Yeah – it’s just like that.
Do not, for a second, discount what will come from the final score on that field Sunday. One side will be able to hold the moment in their hearts forever. For the rest of their lives, it will be something they can look back and smile at. If their team goes 4-12 each and every year for the next decade, well, that’ll stink. But, hey, remember when we beat (loser’s name here) to go to the Super Bowl?! How freakin’ sweet was that?!
The other side will be unable to shake the memory, at least in terms of their life as a fan. Okay, even outside of their life as a fan, probably. Let’s be honest – this ain’t just a game to us. Not when it’s Packers/Bears.
It will sting, it will burn. There will be wins in the future, big wins. Maybe even Super Bowl wins. And, yeah, those will be great. But if your team loses Sunday, you’re always going to be haunted by it. At least a little bit. Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds fully, after all.
And two times a year for the rest of…well…ever, you’re going to be reminded of it. Incessantly at first, then less and less in the future. But make no mistake – you WILL be reminded of it. A friend, relative or coworker who roots for the other side will make sure of that, if Joe Buck and the rest of the national idiots don’t do it first.
The men who play and coach in this game will remember it, too, of course. But, honestly, this one’s about us. The people who comprise this game, they’re just sort of passing through, aren’t they? Winning would be great; losing would be a shame. But at the end of the day, their checks will clear. They aren’t necessarily Packers or Bears forever. It’s their job and, for most of them, it isn’t going to be the last one they ever have.
No, we will be the ones who really remember this day. Good or bad, it’ll be up to us to remember it in our own way. But that doesn’t make me nervous or scared or any other negative emotion.
Hell no – it makes me excited. I’m ready. I want this moment to arrive. I’m embracing it. Jay, Brian, Julius, Lance, Devin – hit me with your best shots. Something tells me my guys are ready. So, I tell you all, with the utmost sincerity: