I dream of the big game
January 13, 2004
I have a dream – a recurring sports dream, that is.
This dream is proof that I’m meant to be a sports reporter and a sports fanatic because this same football dream repeats in my sleeping mind often, and there is no escaping it. It’s the only recurring dream I have, and it formed some time after I graduated high school in 1999.
The gist of this particular incubus is that I need to make it to a football game, in which I’m meant to compete in, but I can’t – something stands in the way, and usually what’s holding me back is forgetfulness – forgetting my cleats, helmet, shoulder pads, etc. The game is typically a high school football game, but I have had a few related to Little League baseball, now that I think about it.
In my last terrifying episode, I needed to get a ride to the game, but for some reason I couldn’t. (You know how hazy it is when you try to recall a dream. I think someone in the dream was taking cruel satisfaction in my lack of transportation). This game started at 6 p.m., and I sat there as the hour of six approached. I frantically watched the clock as it edged closer and closer to six, and I could do nothing, and I did nothing.
And then it was past six, and eventually I awoke with no satisfaction of seeing any gridiron action.
This is how they all play out. Before the game is supposed to begin, I’m really excited, and I’m also optimistic about the outcome. I know, without a doubt, that I’m going to play well, and it feels good.
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I can feel the excitement in the dream, like how an athlete gets “pumped up” before any game. And then, suddenly, the excitement turns into anguish and frustration – that’s usually when I wake up (or all I can remember in reflection).
There are elements of this dream that make it especially tormenting.
First, I am notorious for being on time in “real life,” which makes the dream that much more frustrating. I take pride in being a dependable man. On top of that, I’ve never missed a sporting event that I was going to compete in. Never.
Second, the forgetfulness factor. As a youthful athlete, I used to lay my uniform out on my bedroom floor the night before the game and stare at it, making sure I had each and every piece of equipment I needed. Mentally, I thought about what I needed to do to excel.
Some kids didn’t even wash their uniforms! Why am I being tortured for my clean, sanitary and organized practices in relation to sporting event participation?
Third, the fact that I’m depending on others to recover my forgotten items or to get me there on time bothers me. I’ve always been independent. Why can’t I just get in the car and drive myself to the game? Put me in coach, please!
Naturally, I’m now looking for an interpretation of this recurring nightmare.
The closest professional interpretation, courtesy of Dreammoods.com, is as follows: “To dream that you are playing a sport, signifies the learning of rules, talents and the achieving of your goals. It also highlights the importance of cooperation, harmony and teamwork.”
In addition: “Recurring dreams repeat themselves with little variation in story or theme. These dreams may be positive, but most often they are nightmares. Dreams may recur because a conflict depicted in the dream remains unresolved and ignored. Once you have found a resolution to the problem, your recurring dreams may cease.”
If you reverse the initial paragraph’s explanation – considering my dream is about not making it to the sporting event I’m meant to “play” in – for analysis’ sake, let’s assume that there is some goal in my life that needs achieving.
Trust me, if I knew the answer, I would proudly fess up to the public like the great Pete Rose has triumphantly done in his new book, but I am truly dumbfounded. I couldn’t be more content with my life right now (I know, I’m in denial).
Because this is the sports page, and I am a sports writer, I will keep my dream analysis sports-related, straying from my desire to have more money, a nicer vehicle, a bigger house, a cat or dog, 200 more CDs to listen to during my commute, more time to go fishing and camping and my overwhelming wish to play guitar in a band again.
See, I told you I’m content.
Back to my sports complex for now. Because I am into cheap psychology, here is my own amateur interpretation of my recurring dream:
The reason why football is ever-present in the dream relates to the worst decision I’ve made so far in my life.
It all began during my sophomore year of football. I was playing middle linebacker in our fifth game of the season, and the opposing team tried a tight end pop pass over the middle. I was all over it, but in the process of knocking the ball away, my right arm was jammed up toward my shoulder, producing a horrible pain in my upper arm. Initially, I thought I had broken my humerus (insert your own “humorous” pun here); but a few plays later, I was able to return to action.
That night, we suffered our only loss that season against our hated rivals, Cloverdale. For the rest of year, my shoulder would occasionally pop out, and it still does today. I missed a good part of the next baseball season (I never regained my ability to pitch, either) and sat out the next football season – the season that our high school won its first ever section championship – against Cloverdale!
In retrospect, I’d give my right arm to be on that championship team. My baseball career was already ruined, and my shoulder still gives me problems today. At least I’d have a championship plaque to proudly hang on my wall.
That is my own professional opinion, and it’s a lot cheaper than sitting in a chair and having someone tell me that I’m crazy. It makes sense, too. I could have worse recurring dreams, I know, but it sure would be nice to get in that game and score a touchdown or make a tackle one of these nights.
Sure Matt, keep dreamin’.
Matt Brown is sports and outdoors reporter for the Sierra Sun.
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