I’m passionate about football. I especially favor the SEC teams, of course, and our struggling Tennessee Titans and all things Manning. But really, any team will do. Many of the best fall and winter hours are those I get to spend curled up in front of the fire watching a good football game. Add a pizza and frosty mug of brew, and it’s the best date ever.

In a recent AFC wild card playoff game, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in what has become an infamous example of professional immaturity. Of loss of control. Of “stupidity” as many commentators and fans described it. Adam “Pacman” Jones (once one of our own Titans) and his teammate Vontaze Burfict cost the Bengals the victory by committing two egregious personal fouls that moved the Steelers 30 yards down the field and into easy range for the game-winning field goal.

In a profanity laced rant after the game, Jones lambasted the referees, an opposing coach, and in general blamed everyone for the loss except the one most responsible: himself. Jones defended his “chippy” behavior and still insists he plays with “emotion” or “passion.” Sadly, Jones’ recent meltdown is more of a pattern than an isolated event.

Like many sports fans, subsequent championship games kept reminding me of Pacman’s “emotional” deportment. I watched Clemson and Alabama players embrace with emotion after a heartfelt and hard fought contest for the collegiate national title. In this past Sunday’s game, Russell Wilson and his Seattle Seahawks didn’t give up when they played their worst first 30 minutes of the year against the Carolina Panthers and were down 31-zip at the half. The Seahawks kept their cool, rallied strong and lost with grace when they came up short at the end.

I’m not a super competitive person, but I’m definitely emotional and passionate. I’m fiery about people taking responsibility for their actions (including myself). I’m emotional about betrayal and enraged by the abuse of the innocent. I’m incensed by injustice or silent disregard of its existence. I’m impassioned about emotional and spiritual health and zealous for healing within broken people and relationships. I’m an avid believer in perseverance and perspective. I am passionate about courage and calling and commitment.

I’m fervid in my love for my husband, children, their spouses, and grandchildren. I am emotional with gratitude for the blessing of so many dear friends. I am passionate about my faith in a loving God regardless of my circumstances.

And because this fiery redhead sometimes loses it in a touch of “Pacman” over something she’s passionate about, I’m emotional about the power of imperfection and the grace available for do-overs every time.

Marnie C. Ferree