Confidence is dangerous.
I know what it feels like, sometimes. Because when I’m confident, I can do anything. I’m un-fucking-stoppable. Because confidence begets belief. And belief, well, belief is an all-consuming fire that transforms every aspect of your character. It punches weakness in the dick and smiles at every obstacle. Belief is something bigger than all of our collective emotions because it’s not emotion at all. Belief is hardened, and yet, somehow tangibly intangible. You know exactly when you have it and not exactly what it is. It’s not quantifiable, verifiable or any other type of -fiable. You believe or you do not believe. There is no gray area.
And yet belief can feel like fiction. The majority of us come from monotheistic, specifically a Christian monotheistic, heritage and we’re raised in and around that culture. The concept of God is as written into our DNA as the ability to endure cruel Louisiana humidity for the sake of community and football. There is God and he is real and those are just the facts. Unless they aren’t. And then we don’t know anymore and then we don’t believe. You aren’t unsure what you believe. To be sure... that you aren’t sure what you believe... is to simply not believe.
Until maybe you do again.
It’s been nearly eight years since LSU quit believing and we quit believing in them. Or maybe they just became unsure of what they believe... which we know is actually no belief at all.
It feels tumultuous, even for something as un-serious as football. Some men lost their carers because of it. Some gave up caring. It’s an ugly, challenging, disparate thing. It’s a long-suffering strangle. It’s that feeling you have when you start to drown. Your muscles grow weak and and your brain begins to panic. You can’t muster the strength to break the plane of the surface to get the one thing you need to survive. If you’ve never felt your body quit, even for a fleeting second, then consider yourself blessed.
We’ve been stuck in a standstill. Saying the right things. Going through the motions. Doing everything we know to do to make it right, except for the one damn thing we need to do:
There’s risk in believing. What if they are wrong? What if we are wrong? There’s fear there. The presence of belief does not bring the absence of fear. And that’s a risk some may just be unwilling to take. Because it means the potential for pain... to allow yourself the possibility to be hurt again. We could all be wrong and hurt all over again.
Yet there’s far greater risk in not believing. To not believe is to not hope. And to not hope is to expect. And expecting is the pathway to disappointment.
It’s time to believe again. Because they do. Because after they went on the road and won a game no one said they should, they turned around two weeks later and did the same damn thing again. It’s time to believe again. Because doing that earned them the right to jubilantly scream FUCK THEM at the top of their lungs:
It’s time to believe again because confidence begets belief and belief is unstoppable.
Or don’t. But the rest of us aren’t going to wait around for you anymore.
It’s time to believe again.
Until we can’t.