Five Incredibly Profound and Life Changing Lessons I Learned From the Super Bowl

Being sick and without an appetite can actually be beneficial for your health. Only at a Super Bowl party would you hear someone say, “I’ll have some of this buffalo chicken dip. Oh, and I’ll have some of these buffalo chicken wings. And, yummy, I’ll have some of those hot dogs that are wrapped in bacon and dipped in lard. Hey who brought the hamburgers with bratwurst on top?”

The Steelers were not the best team in football. Neither were the Packers, for that matter. For the most part, the Steelers controlled the game but just couldn’t close it out when they needed to. The Packers missed all kinds of opportunities, although they got what they needed to win. The best team in football was the Patriots, who, unfortunately for them, happened to catch the Jets on a bad day.

Players are not very creative when interviewed. “We really played as a team.” “We all came out here and gave 100%.” “We did what we had to do to win.” Just once I want to hear a player say something like, “Well, to be honest, the team had some wicked bad taco meat last night and every one of us was sick as a dog. It was like a dysentery plague. I didn’t think we were going to win but it turns out my lucky 8 ball was right after all.”

Announcers have an uncanny ability to talk about the same thing over and over again. If I hear one more announcer talk about this being a year of ‘redemption’ for Roethlisberger…well I don’t know what I’ll do. Something extreme and rash that I’ll probably regret for many years. Like light a foam cheese head on fire.

I’m grateful that my joy is in Jesus not ultimately in football. Notice I said ‘not ultimately’. I like football a whole lot, and I was dishing out my share of high fives and over-enthusiastic screams when Pittsburgh scored. But in the end they lost. Which stinks. And which makes me glad that Jesus is an unshakable joy.

The Humility of Lamar Odom

To my knowledge, Lamar Odom (power forward for the L.A. Lakers) is not a Christian. Yet he models a humility that should be the goal of every Christian athlete, and in reality, every Christian. Sports Illustrated recently ran an article about Odom which contained the following quotes:

The Los Angeles D-Fenders are the Lakers’ developmental-league affiliate; they practice in the same gym and play on the same court as the NBA players but reap few of the other benefits. “Most guys at that level [of Lamar Odom] don’t have time for us,” says guard Brandon Heath. “But L.O. is always telling us to come over to his house, offering to take us out to dinner.”

I love that humility! It reminds me of Romans 12:16: “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.”

The article continues:

Sharing has long been part of his game. Growing up, Odom’s idol was Magic, not Michael. He preferred to dish rather than dunk. “When we had college scouts come watch us, he wouldn’t shoot,” says Arbitello [a former teammate]. “He wanted to make everybody else look good.”

This attitude is the exact opposite of mine. I want to make myself look good. I want to be the high-flying, high-scoring, player of the game who impresses everyone. And not just in sports. In every other aspect of life as well. I want to be the guy that looks good, and I don’t get excited when someone else is praised. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

Finally, Odom’s personal trainer says:

Lamar’s a pleaser. He wants to throw you an alley-oop and give you a pound on the way back down.

I want to be like Lamar. I want to celebrate and rejoice in the successes of others.

Super Bowl Number Six Baby!

My fingernails are chewed raw and my adrenal glands are shot. My heart still hasn’t composed itself. My eyes feel like burning from staring at the screen without blinking. Simply put, it was a hard fought game but I managed to pull it out. I yelled “miss it” at just the right times and told James Harrison to “never look back” when he intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown. I was NOT responsible for the fact that Casey Hampton was wearing what appeared to be a pee-wee football helmet.

So here’s a little tribute to the boyz (can I use a ‘z’?) in Black & Gold.

C.J. Mahaney on Sports

Today at Covenant Life Church C.J. Mahaney gave an outstanding message entitled “Don’t Waste Your Sports”. If you enjoy playing, watching, or talking sports, you need to listen to this message.

Get it HERE.