I'm an avid football fan. When the Patriot's play, a whole new side of my personality explodes from my being. I throw pillows, jump out of my chair, and expletives slip through my lips. Until nine years ago, I didn't know I liked the sport. As a young girl, I was a cheerleader who had no idea what the cheer, "first and ten do it again" meant. I dated the captain of the football team who spent every Monday morning re-living the game as I pretended to listen, yet I had no idea how football was played. Then I went to a professional game in the old Foxboro Stadium, and watched a young Tom Brady play his first game as quarterback. The team was down by two touchdowns and a field goal with only a quarter left to go. The fans had left and everyone had given up except for him. This young man refused to quit, running in touchdowns and playing with everything he had. The Patriot's came back to tie the Chargers in regular time and won in overtime. In that moment, something happened to me. I became a jersey-wearing fan who felt that my prayers could change the outcome of the game.
Since moving from Boston to California, seeing a game in the stadium has been impossible. Tickets are sold out months in advance. When I originally made my list I thought about wanting to see a game in the new Gillette Stadium, but it didn't make the cut. As I was watching a game this past October the longing returned. I went to my list and changed one of my dreams.
I thought it would be at least a year before I could make this dream come true, but once again magic happened. The day after I wrote down the dream, my mother had a vision of a convenience store and a Patriot's lottery ticket. She went in, bought the ticket, and won. The only problem was that the date of the game would be determined by the lottery, and I wasn't certain I could find a flight home.
It turned out that the universe was on my side. The game happened to land two days after Christmas, when I would be home for the holiday. I thought that I couldn't be luckier, but even more greatness came my way. It can be brutally cold in December. The stadium doesn't have much cover and wind-chill can reach the negative numbers on game day. As I entered the stadium, after the official tailgate party, the rain ended and the sun broke through the clouds. I stripped off my winter coat as I cheered on my team.
The Patriot's won that game by thirty points. I watched our wide receiver joke with the fans and the defense dance during time out. I wondered at how this could be happening. I asked to see a game and without my doing anything it came true.
That first game nine years ago, I saw Tom Brady believe he could win. Against the odds a sixth-round draft pick who only got to play because the regular quarterback was injured, took the first step to making his dream come true of becoming a Super Bowl MVP.
Many times we feel that life is against us. In truth, the guts to ask for what we want and the determination to never quit turns life into a magic hope chest.