Football, Anchoring, And Just A Lot Of Questions

For starters, I love football.  Passionately.  I don’t watch many games live because they are too anxiety producing.  But I watch dozens on replay, hours after I know the score.

And well there is struggle.  A great deal of questions.  Over the past two weeks…

  1. USC fired its head football coach as he struggled with an obvious alcohol addiction.  Maybe the pressure was relentless?
  2. USC’s AD, Pat Haden, later collapsed on the sidelines at the first game under an interim coach. Passed out.  Not alcohol induced.  Nerves I would imagine.
  3. Michigan State beat Michigan on a last second gafffe by the punter.  Michigan’s punter later received so many death threats that Michigan’s AD wrote an open letter imploring the no doubt small group of wayward fans to stop the harrasment.
  4. The young man who scored Michigan State’s last touchdown in the miracle win broke his hip on the play.  How will that turn out?  A legend maybe but maybe a legend who never plays a down as a starter again.
  5. Johnny Manziel, Heisman winner and QB for the Browns, well just look at his exploits this weekend.  An argument with this his girlfriend … while driving … that became so heated several people called the police.  No big deal he said.  Alcohol involved.
The struggle is this … a gnawing worry that we have anchored far too much of our lives in sports. And as a pastor, I know that comes with a cost.  I hear constantly from parents who can no longer bring their family to church on Sunday because of athletic commitments.   The anchor for life becomes sport/ athletics.
And that sounds so old and fuddy-duddy doesn’t it?  Like some 1950′s Father-Knows-Best line.
But I do know this … faith lived well, lived courageously builds character too.  Builds teamwork.  Builds commitment. Builds dedication. Builds a moral foundation.  Gives a higher perspective. And maybe on some Sundays church does those things even better than sports do.
It is not a conversation about Sports or Church.  But maybe there is space for “and.”  I hope so.

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