by Marisa Massery, MIC Program Director
Once we survive the sub-zero temperatures of the current polar vortex, those of us in New England will quickly and eagerly turn our attention to the excitement of Sunday night’s football game. Even for Patriots fans, the Super Bowl never gets old.
I grew up in a house where watching Patriots football was a sport in and of itself. My brothers, dad and cousins are serious and superstitious: pre-game chatter starts early Sunday morning, religious statues perch near the TV, and most importantly: non-football related conversation is restricted to only commercials. It was, and still is, serious fandom. Although I follow the game during the Superbowl, my focus is usually geared more toward the halftime show and the star spangled banner. Last week, however, a friend and musical colleague sent me the following video comparing football to music and it’s fabulous.
In the eight minute video, Wynton Marsalis, jazz genius and cultural correspondent for CBS News, interviews Tom Brady and Alan Gilbert, the conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Marsalis explores how a well balanced football team in motion is much like a symphony orchestra performing a great masterpiece. He cleverly compares linemen to bass players, linebackers to cellos, and corner backs to violins. He talks about the leadership and tempo control that both the quarterback and conductor need at the helm, as well as the practice, preparation, and level of excellence contributed by each player for overall synchronicity. My favorite line of the segment, however, reads as follows: “There’s so much more to it than just the harmony of mechanics. Behind the perfect precision, nuance and finesse, there’s always that ever present human fundamental: emotion.”
So whether you will root for the Rams or the Patriots, watch the game as a super fan or a casual spectator, or care more about Gladys Knight’s national anthem and Maroon Five’s halftime show, I encourage you to watch this video and perhaps even Sunday night’s Super Bowl with a new perspective.
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