Skip to main content

Thursday Sports--September 17 2009

Thursday Morning Sports Guy September 17, 2009

Ok, so a couple of weeks ago, ESPN ran the story that a few current and former football players for the Michigan Wolverines had leveled allegations that the football team was made to practice and work on football beyond the NCAA limit. This story surprised me. Why?

  1. There's a limit? Yes, there is! Apparently, teams can only require 20 hours a week apart from game day activities. What are the players supposed to do with rest of their time? I think the idea was to go to class. Novel thought, I know.

  2. These players complained about it in the news media. Why? To get attention? Hard when you're the “ unnamed sources within the Michigan program.”

  3. Michigan? They're cheating, allegedly, but I'd take all but 2 SEC teams against them any day. Sorry to Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, but y'all ain't up to that yet, you know?

Now, Michigan's defense is two-pronged:

  1. Everybody does it. All programs exceed the 20-hour limit. Which, to me, is a lousy excuse. Always has been. I grew, as most kids did, with Dad asking “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” Sure, Dad, if everyone else went first. It wouldn't hurt too bad.

  2. The excess hours are supposedly “ voluntary.” Multiple teams have brought this as a defense of Michigan's actions. What, apparently, goes on is this: senior leadership of the football team goes through the athletic dorms during times that aren't practice times, which are confined to the hour limit, and spot football players doing various activities. In the off-chance that a player is really studying, they leave them alone. But if Bob the defensive back is kicked back watching I Love Lucy reruns, other players have Bob join them in their room, where they watch game film and talk about either what happened last game or what will happen next game. Essentially, during the season, moments not occupied with academics are mostly taken up with football. (in theory, we know a few folks get into trouble. So do seminary students.)

Is this a problem? Well, perhaps for something as minor as football, it shouldn't be as all consuming. But it's a good illustration. Our life as believers in Jesus cannot be confined to something that has a major game day (Sunday) with a limit on the hours we put in elsewhere. True, there's a limit to the formal time we can gather and have structured practice (Bible studies, prayer meetings), but there can be no limitation on the informal growth and expansion of our walk with Christ. Rather than watching TV alone, could you be building fellowship with another family of believers? Or with a family of unbelievers that you might point them to Christ? How can you use your time at the football game to be an example of the Glory of God?

Everything does not have to be documented, measurable action, but it should all point to the Glory of the One who has saved us. It should be an all-consuming passion that takes up what we say, do, watch, read, and work on. Don't impose a limit.

Sports note: I note the passing of NCAA President Miles Brand. He was formerly President of Indiana University, where he finally acted on the fact that winning cannot be everything for college athletics. He has tried to bring some of that to the NCAA, and I hope it's a continuing legacy. It would be good to remember that schools have scholarship athletics to provide educational opportunity, not to field championship teams or prepare people for professional athletics. Championships can be sought, but they shouldn't be the goal. I hope that Miles Brand leaves a legacy beyond just college athletics, and that's a legacy of faith. I don't know if he does or not, since I've only read of him in mainstream media that avoids all mention of a person's Christian faith, but we'll see if anything comes out.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…