Posts tagged ‘football’

October 16, 2009

[843 acres] Daddy’s Boys

by Mattie

There are many people in American public life who seem to be “famous” – not for their own accomplishments, but rather for what their parents have done, e.g., Nicole Richie, the Kardashians, and Rumer Willis.

This week, the New York Times took a fascinating look at two boys living in the shadows of their superstar dads. [California School Has a Montana and a Gretzky at Quarterback]. Not only must Nick Montana and Trevor Gretzky try to match their fathers’ all-star careers, they also must compete against each other – they both play quarterback at the same California prep school.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus sees a man born blind. In displaying a worldly mentality that the sins (or gifts) of the father are inherited, the disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” But, Jesus responds, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2-3, NIV).  

My success or failure in this world is not determined by my (or my earthly parents’) holiness or sinfulness, but by the will of God who desires to bring “abundant life” (John 10:10). I do, however, inherit the perfection of my heavenly daddy through his supernatural adoption of me, which makes me his “heir” (Romans 8:16).

The world will always measure Nick and Trevor by the legacies of their fathers. I’m grateful that, although God holds me to His standard, He will always measure me by the legacy of His Son, whose record stats (i.e., raising from the dead) have been credited to me as a co-heir with Christ.

October 13, 2009

[843 acres] The Little Hits

by Mattie

Even if you aren’t a football fan, you’ve probably seen the video: two burly Kentucky linemen sacking Florida QB Tim Tebow, knocking him out for several minutes.  After being cleared by team docs, Tebow seemed back in Heisman form on Saturday night to lead the top-ranked Gators to victory over 4th-ranked SEC foes, the LSU Tigers.  Tebow’s concussion coincides with a recent flurry of media coverage (see here, here, and here) on some new research on brain trauma in athletes. 

The most fascinating take on the issue is over at the New Yorker.  While Malcolm Gladwell (of Tipping Point fame) takes it a bit far in asking if football and dog fighting are essentially the same (they are not), he does point out something that the other stories miss: What matters, Gladwell writes, is the “repetitive subconcussive trauma. It’s not just the handful of big hits that matter. It’s lots of little hits, too.”  Football players and boxers don’t end up with sky-high rates of dementia and mental illness because they get knocked out every once in a while – it’s because they get knocked down scores of times.  [New Yorker, Football, dog fighting, and brain damage].

It reminded me of Jesus’ discourse in Matthew 5:

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment … You have heard that it was said, “‘Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. NIV.

Jesus recognizes our own subconcussive traumas; when it comes to sin, it isn’t the “handful of big hits” that destroy us, it is all those “little hits” that we barely notice that end up crippling our minds and hardening our hearts.

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