Hope you're having an awesome Friday! Hope it's filled with thanks and praise as loud as the cheering we'll hear from U S Bank Stadium in Granted, Minnesota on Sunday! I remember seeing a cartoon once where two pastors were at a game and one asked the other, "Who are you for?" The other said, ""I don't even know who's playing. I just like to be somewhere where folks are excited about something!"
Soooo thankful it's not that way at Triple C!
Here's a thought…
If you run a 5K race in 30 minutes, that's pretty good! Ever run one? It's a loooong way!! About three miles! What if you could threw a football almost three miles?
Like Tom Brady did this year!
That's right! It took Tom 581 tries, but of those throws, 385 were caught for 4,577 yards of completions! That’s 2.6 miles of completions! And, if you took all the throws he threw just this year, including uncaught balls, he probably threw like five miles of passes! Unreal!
In Tom Brady lifetime stats…
beside his two punts(!), all on surprise third down plays…
his two pass receptions (!) for a total of 30 yards…
and 11 tackles (!)…
he has completed in his NFL career over 37.59 MILES of passes!!
(Or "TR" as he liked to be called)
You know…Theodore Roosevelt. He's the one who really saved the game.
I read something about it the other day…
If you think football's rough today…whoa! It's nothing like back "in the day"! No helmets or pads except mops of hair guys would grow to protect their heads when they hit the line. As for plays and strategies, Harvard used the "flying wedge", which was a V-shape formation of guys who would zone in on one defensive lineman or back.
“Think of it—half a ton of bone and muscle coming into collision with a man weighing 160 or 170 pounds!” wrote a guy for the New York Times in 1892.
They got the idea from a book about Napoleon's war tactics!
They didn't have a passing game back then. The forward pass didn't exist yet. What they'd do was grab the guy carrying the ball and throw HIM!
One running back got the idea of sewing the handles of a suitcase into his jersey so they'd have something to hold on to when it was "launch time"!
In 1905, 18 guys died playing high school and college ball. Something like 137 players were critically injured. President Roosevelt loved the game. Once in a speech he encouraged young men to be citizens of America just like they played on the gridiron…
"Don't flinch! Don't fold! And hit the line hard!"
But he knew that it couldn't go on like this. The game was on trial and about to be convicted for life if something didn't change. So he called the deans and presidents of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton into the White House to tell them that the rules had to change or football was done. Those guys didn't like it but TR insisted…
He wanted a neutral zone at the line of scrimmage between the teams before the play started to give the defense a fair chance to be ready for “what's comin’ “…
He insisted on penalties for what they called "unsportsmanlike conduct”…
And the biggest change was the institution of the "forward pass".
It's where you throw the ball, not the guy!
They found it spread out the action across the field, reducing injuries. And they discovered that they could threw the pigskin a whole lot farther than a person!
And if you dropped it, nothing broke and you didn't need the stretcher!
And a diving catch is cool.
Football was saved!
So, if football is like the game of life (who knows?), what have we learned today?
Let's say there is someone and you want that person to make decisions that Jesus wants from them. And you want that person to give their heart to Him. You want to "move them down the field”…
Sometimes, if you want to keep the action going, you have to be kinder and gentler than folks have customarily been.
The Apostle says that we should be "kind and tender-hearted". He told his friend, Timothy that we "must be kind to everyone". He says that when the Spirit of God really coaches a person, one of the first things they become is kind.
Kindness is a HUGE deal in the New Testament! You don't want any penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Sometimes I think folks like us underestimate the sheer power and force of gentleness and kindness…
Jesus only really described Himself one time. Only once did He say, "Wanna know what I'm like? I'll tell you…" Wanna know the power of His heart to move people down the field? "I'm gentle and humble in heart."
The kind and gentle people that you know…Aren't they your favorite people?
Wouldn't you be more likely to do something they might ask of you?
Kindness keeps you in the game. If life's like football, here's the uniform you need in the locker room…"clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness!" (Col 3) You can deliver your "hits' when you're the kindest person they know!
And never try to pick someone up and throw them! They outlawed that stuff!
And it's a good thing they did!
(Philadelphia 37, Patriots 24)