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The Thrill of The End

The Cincinnati Bengals are about to make their 5th straight playoff appearance on Saturday night. Many are the naysayers, who claim that the Bengals can't win a playoff game (which, thus far, has been true). But for every doubter there are 10 true fans, eager to watch the Bengals play a post-season game against their worst rival: The Steelers. Winner takes all, loser goes home.

The Bengals are ranked with the #3 seed after losing to the Broncos in week 16--a head-to-head match-up that determined who would get a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Realistically speaking, the game against the Broncos held the exact same importance to the Bengals as this game in week 18. Both games are markers as to whether the Bengals will make it to the second round of the playoffs or whether they wrap up their season after the first round of playoff games again.

And yet there is some kind of magic in the air about this weekend's game that week 16 didn't have; an excitement that can only be contributed to playoff games.

And I think I've figured out what makes it so exciting: Ultimate Risk.

It's the great gamble: if you lose you are done, if you win, you go on.

That's what makes the playoffs so exciting. You watch the best teams in football play against each other with the entire season on the line. The stakes are high, and the excitement even higher.

Dare I say, I think that we can learn something about life in general from the NFL playoffs. I believe this statement is mostly true, though not always true:
The higher the risk, the greater the excitement.

It may be fun to ride a zipline and you may get a thrill from the speed of zipping along from one point to the next. You'll probably get a little more of a thrill the faster you go because the risk of stopping decreases before you hit the tree at the other end of the line. The higher off the ground you are, the more exciting. Not because anything has changed with the ride itself, but because the risk of what if I fell goes up significantly with every 10' of altitude.

Gamblers get addicted to the high that putting all their money on the line brings about.
Base jumpers get their biggest rush when they are able to pull their shoot at the very last moment before hitting the ground.
Musicians get the biggest thrill from their music when they successfully play a sonata in front of thousands of listeners in the audience.
The first kiss a couple shares has the most electricity to it because there is great risk in knowing whether the other party will comply with such a forward act of intimacy.

Each of these things has great risk because it could potentially mean the end (of either that hobby or even of the individual's life). And there is great risk being so close to the end.

So if life is wired to be the most exciting where the end is closest, should there be a certain thrill to getting older?
#PlotTwist #DidntSeeThatComing


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