It's Super Bowl Sunday. And along with the excitement about the big game we're being bombarded with warnings about concussions on the field as well as the damage we'll do to our livers and cholesterol levels while watching said violence.
But maybe there's something else we need to discuss of equal importance...
I once got hurt on a football field.
But it wasn't playing football. I was starring in a movie as a character who at one point gets into a fight with a football player during a game.
It was a low budget affair so we couldn't buy the co-operation of any professional gridiron outfits. So we did the next best thing and promised a semi-pro team they'd get famous if they helped us out.
We spent the afternoon approximating a real game by shooting an inter-squad practice with some spectacular plays. Then we did the fight scene which included a shot of me getting leveled by some behemoth Guard or Tackle.
First take, the player, who wasn't a trained stunt guy because we couldn't afford those either, made sure he didn't hurt me and the hit looked totally fake.
Now, I'd had stunt training in theatre school and mostly did my own fights and tumbles. A lot of the time, it probably got me jobs since Producers were looking for ways to cut costs and I was too dumb to charge them extra for such additional services.
So, I told the player it was okay to hit me the same way he'd hit anybody else, because I knew how to lessen the impact and break my fall so I wouldn't get hurt.
And he did exactly what he was asked to do.
And I broke two ribs. On the first day of a grueling four week shoot.
Dumb move? Yes.
Reckless? You could say that.
Worth it? Absolutely. Even considering how much some of those decades old stunts gimp me out on cold mornings these days.
Why? Because the shot looked great. The pain looked real. And the audience was pulled a little more into the story.
We all do things common sense and people who take the long and cautious view tell us that we shouldn't.
But think of all the "bad" decisions you've made that either turned out great or resulted in an story that you can still dine out on. Life just isn't about following the instructions in the manual.
Where's the fun in living longer as opposed to well? How much has your world been expanded by talking to people your mom, your teachers, the cops or your Ex suggested you avoid? What part of the experience of living would you have lost by considering all the negative consequences that might arise?
And while it's alright for others to remind us there are consequences for our actions and we're doing something potentially harmful, when did we become a society insisting we know better than someone else how their life should be lived?
Those guys playing in the Super Bowl today made their own decision to be there. The guy adding another bottle of hot sauce to his chili recipe and going with the LARGE margaritas did too.
Time to back off the finger wagging and...
Enjoy Your Sunday.