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God is Honored Through Football

I believe out of all the national sports God has received more glory and praise from American football over the past one hundred years than all of the other sports combined.

Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.”

—Joe Namath

Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God.”

When I was a little boy and I became a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and football back in the late 60’s and 70’s, that’s when I started praying and praising God, even though I was not a Christian or religious. In fact, I hated church as a boy because they did not respect the Dallas Cowboys enough to let church out at 12:00 noon so that I could see my prayers answered regarding my Cowboys whipping the Redskins. To this day, I believe that my prayers were responsible for the Clint Longley Thanksgiving miracle and the Roger Staubach Drew Pearson Minnesota Ice miracle. Yes, it was my prayers. We won. And I gave God praise!

A New Football Season in Life is Analogous to a Revival of Hope

True die-hard football lovers experience and get excited about a new football season. The reason for this is because in their hearts and minds no matter how their team did last year, they really hope that this is the year for their team to win a championship.

The Opening Kickoff in Life is Analogous to a New Day in Life

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not, They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

(Lamentations 3:22-23)

There is nothing in sports like the football opening kickoff. The phrase “kickoff” has traveled throughout nearly everything we do in life. According to Merriam Webster the “kick off” means a kick that puts the ball into play in a football game; (2) the start of something or the commencement of something. We now say we kicked off the political campaign with a concert. Or, we kicked off the church revival meeting with a day of fasting and prayer. Or, we kicked off the business meeting with finger foods and drinks and small talk. The new television series kicks off on September 15th.

Tackle in Life is Analogous to Engagement with the Enemy

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

—Vince Lombardi

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

(Proverbs 24:16).

To win in this thing called Life, everybody needs a good, solid hit every now and then. There is nothing like a good, solid hit in life to get the cobwebs out and to remind you that you have an enemy.

Contrary to What People Say, Football is Not a Violent Game

Now, I touched on this before, but I wanted to touch on it again to help my testosterone-challenged friends understand what football is all about. If you are approaching American football with eyes of violence, or if you are going to the football games because you get off on the “bone -cracking” hits and you are filled with glee when you see blood on a jersey, or someone limping to the sideline, then there is something wrong with you. You are bringing your aggression, your anger, and your violence to the game with you. You need to check yourself.

Three quick things:

  1. Football is not a violent game; however, it is a contact sport and you can get hurt.

  2. Football is not a violent game, but there are some men who are violent. Just like in the game of life, life is not violent, but there are some people who are violent who make it bad for the rest of us.

  3. Tom Landry! When you think about football and violence you need to think about Tom Landry the church-suit-wearing, saxon-royal-fur-felt-fedora-hat-wearing, on-the-sideline coach of the Dallas Cowboys in the sixties and the seventies. The thing that turned me on to football was not the hard hits but the fact that football was a thinking man’s game. Football is like a giant chess game and the board is the gridiron. Look at the Cowboys of the late sixties and seventies—the innovation and finesse under Landry. It was a thing of beauty. Yes, the Cowboys had to hit and be hit, block and be blocked, but the game was all about thinking, strategizing, planning, finessing, and praying.