"We Have seen His Star in the East!"

"We have seen His Star in the East,
and have come with the gift of our lives,
to worship the Lord!"

....We Norbertines chant that antiphon coupled with the Benedictus and Canticle of Mary during the Epiphany days of Christmastide. That beautiful chant came to mind as I drove from the West to the East on Highway 29, coming back to DePere tonight after an all-too-quick visit home. As I looked East, I noticed bright lights in the sky as I headed from home to home: No, it was not the Northern Lights, it was not some sort of miraculous Epiphany, nor was it the orange glow of street lights glowing in the Green Bay sky's. Rather, it was lights covering the football gridirons of Shawano -- and eventually Pulaski -- as I progressed eastward.

As you've read in these accounts over the years, I love Sunday afternoons at Lambeau Field and, to a lesser degree, as the Pack heads to other stadiums (which in my biased estimation, pale in comparison to Lambeau.) Sports enthusiasts may be surprised that my excitement over the games is not over X's and O's and Special Teams, or even the end result after 1 hour of play. But the game is at its best when, for me, it becomes personal! Personal, as I get to know the players and cheer for their good, just like we did in high school days.

That's why I am only interested in watching sports teams in which I have some sort of connection; or else, I simply am not at all plugged into the play! Therefore I will root for, support and attend not only Packer games, but certainly any Green Knight team -- like you, Joe and Joyce(!), but also the Notre Dame Tritons (Norbertine affiliated teams), the West DePere Phantoms and DePere Red Birds (parishioners), and surely the Antigo Red Robins (always the home team) .... without question.

And over the years, I have found that the NFL is also a very truly small world; as such, I have become friends with players and coaches at all sorts of other teams for whom I also support -- at the threshold of a new NFL season, it's best that I not reveal all of the teams at this point! Suffice to say, if I know the people and players and coaches involved, I watch and support the teams. Otherwise, my interest is somewhat limited, for better or worse!

But through it all, I really must confess (and I suspect that professional football coaches and players would also agree) that I have the most fun at Friday night football games. Amidst the changing Fall colors, and while seeing my own breath while navigating rickety high school bleachers, watching high school football really tops the athletic experience for me.

This season, I hope and pray for a few free Friday nights that I might be able to experience a little athletic experience in one of it's purest forms -- coming to a high school near you!



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