Were you one of the 50 million Americans who watched the Super Bowl? It's a great spectacle, and has become an important American ritual where the hoopla often outshines the game.
When I watch football today, I can't help thinking that the game is more fun when it's messier. Football is at its primal, grunting best when it's played either in the ice and snow of a place like Green Bay, or in the mud, not on perfectly lined fields of synthetic turf in a domed structure with larger-than-life bigscreens.
Ever play in, or witness a Mud Bowl... maybe on a rainy weekend or in the afternoons before Thanksgiving dinner? A bunch of people, shivering like nitwits in the pouring rain, mucking through fields turned ankle-deep swamps, and diving for passes and belly-sliding ten yards. Everybody winds up filthy, soaked, starving and exhausted.
In the wake of the Big Game, I can't help thinking that maybe in our everyday teams it should occasionally be more like the Mud Bowl and less like the neat and orderly San Francisco 49ers offense. Maybe sometimes the work we do, and the teams with whom we do it should be messier, more chaotic and celebratory. There are times to run a tight ship, but there are also times to do a cannonball into the water and invite everyone else to do the same. From no-rules brainstorming sessions to heartfelt check-ins to problem-solving games, it's the counterintuitive that keeps us fresh, energized and coming up with satisfying surprises.
What are you doing to encourage your teammates to get messy?