I guess I’ve always been easily distracted. Among my first memories are playing cowboys and Indians (sorry if that’s not PC these days, no offense intended, but that’s what we called it) or war. It was fun and games, what kids do. They escape.
Some of the books I recall reading as a youngster were more of the fantasy or science fiction genres (and are still the ones I enjoy reading the most), then horror stories. Not to say I don’t enjoy non-fiction books but if I have a choice, I’d much rather journey to imagined planets populated by beings totally foreign to humanity, even if it’s only in my mind.
I’m also much more likely to watch escapist TV instead of “reality” TV and started watching “Star Trek” when it first aired 50 years ago. (Man, how’s that for dating myself?) I will tune to a good sitcom over some crime drama every time and will at least give any superhero (even if it’s a cartoon) show a chance.
I like to think this lifelong trend shows I have an imaginative mind and represents a chance for me to get away from daily drudgery and the fact most of my professional career dealt with some serious topics. Crime, traffic fatalities, shootings, court hearings, you name it, I had to cover it.
Not that I regret or would want to change any of that. I recall those times fondly and think it all helped form the person I am today. I think I turned out pretty well.
These last few weeks reminded me of all this as I read, watched and listened to all the media coverage of the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl run up. As a longtime Broncos fan, I find myself getting lost in all the speculation and analysis, imagining how great it would be to see Peyton Manning win his second Super Bowl and ride off into the sunset. Just like my favorite Bronco of all time, John Elway.
It’s a great escape to imagine all of Colorado and surrounding states going totally nuts for the team, Manning and all the other players who have made this season such a pressure-cooking grinder.
To share such a source of pride with thousands, perhaps millions, of others who are just as devoted and get as much of an escape out of as I do is something I really want to see happen. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Broncos and all their fans will be back on top of the world.
Maybe many of us will realize we have so much more in common than we usually see, and can strive to accept whatever differences we might have with others. But that’s probably a pie-in-the-sky, orange-colored glasses outlook. Still, for a time, we have something to celebrate as one.
How’s that for taking escapism to the ultimate degree? Distractions, escapism, whatever term you use, I hope I never lose the ability to enjoy things that are not limited to – perhaps beyond – the physical world. Or getting lost in reality like a Super Bowl win.