I ran across a shocking article on my Twitter feed the other day called “Report: Top College Athletes Worth Six Figures”. In it, the author states:

The average fair market value of top-tier college football and men’s basketball players is over $100,000 each, and the athletes are entitled to at least a portion of that, a new report from an advocacy group argues.

Are we now interested in the fair market value of 20 year-old kids? When I was in banking, we were interested in the fair market value of land and inventory. Inanimate objects. This is sick. What is the fair market value of the 18 year-old freshman girl who got pregnant during her first semester and had to drop out?

If anything screams “justification by works”, it is this. We have discussed this at length on this blog with Kafka (here), The Whole Duty of Man (here, here, and here), and Fathers, Sons, and the Reformation (here and here). This is a mixture of all of them. These kids’ values are being tied to their output and they happen to be young men in dire need of unconditional blessing from a father or an older man.

On the very same Twitter feed and the very same day, I ran across another article called, “QB McCarron carries dad’s loving words”. This article describes Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s relationship with his father. Before every game he has ever played, his father has written him a note. This season, the Penn State game carried huge significance for McCarron because he is in a close competition with another quarterback on the team.  Before the game, his father’s note began with this:

“AJ, I love you,” the letter began. “I’m so proud of you no matter whether you win or lose. Nothing will change that …”

McCarron went out to play a marvelous game and, perhaps, won the starting job. The article goes on to describe the interaction of father and son after the game:

“You played outstanding,” the elder McCarron told his son. “It’s exactly what they wanted.”

With that, McCarron leaned down over the railing and kissed his son’s sweaty head. The younger McCarron started to head back to his team’s locker room, but not before his father had a few more words for him.

“I love you,” the elder McCarron yelled.

The younger McCarron turned back and smiled. He had carried that love with him during the game.

Because, like he always does, he had played with his father’s letter in one of his socks.

These two outlooks are on totally different planes. Who has the most rest? Who can actually play a game and enjoy it for what it is rather than having to increase their fair market value? Most of all, which one gives birth to a love that will be there long after the last pass is thrown?