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Posts tagged "College Football"

Donning the Green and Gold

Donning the Green and Gold

The following comes to us from Larry Parsley.

During most of the summer, three of my most frequently worn shirts have hung, forlornly, in my closet. The white polo with green insignia, the green t-shirt with gold lettering, and the green and gold shiny Dry-FIT were all benched from my weekly rotation. Why? It is because they bore the logo of my alma mater (my academic mother), Baylor University.

On May 26, I sat in one of those male-friendly barbecue joints in Dallas, with elevated TVs streaming ESPN. I struggled to enjoy my chicken sandwich that day, or to pay sufficient attention…

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Grace in Sports (and Practice): Jacob Jarvis and Ohio St. Football

In preparing a new series we’re offering at my church, I was reminded of this post from a few years ago about Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer. The man experienced a breakdown following his team’s loss to Alabama in 2009, enough to warrant him stepping away from coaching for a year. One recent interview indicated that indeed things have been going much better for him, personally, since coming back to coach at OSU. That he managed to win another National Championship on the other side of such a wake-up call, strikes me as fantastic news. Much better, at least, than hearing it was simply the product of a return to (old) form. His daughter even reports that they now speak on the phone “five times a day.” Which is to say, the support and connection to his family is apparently stronger than ever, and his work has not suffered for it. But best of all was discovering the video below, which displays just how much Urban’s new set of priorities have trickled over into the lives of his players and, especially, Jacob Jarvis and his younger brother. As Jacob wheels onto the field, holding hands with the players on the team, I couldn’t help but think: “Now that’s imputation, which is love.”

Kobe Bryant and Urban Meyer - Two Alpha Males Pass in the Night

Kobe Bryant and Urban Meyer – Two Alpha Males Pass in the Night

Kobe Bryant and Urban Meyer – two guys at the top of their sports professions earlier this century (both leading their teams to multiple championships) – were in the news these past few weeks. Meyer, of course, on Monday night became only the 8th coach in NCAA history with three or more National Championships.  This was certainly the most improbable of the three as his Ohio State Buckeyes (behind a 3rd string QB) manhandled Oregon by 3+ touchdowns. Meanwhile over at Grantland, Brian Phillips wrote a definitive piece on the downward trajectory of NBA icon Kobe Bryant (h/t DZ).

Prior to…

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2014 College Football Preview - While It's Still Fun...

2014 College Football Preview – While It’s Still Fun…

On HBO’s Hard Knocks (Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons) these past four weeks, one thing is clear: the starry-eyed rookies miss college. Like many who played football through high school, I’ve been cussed at with a myriad of blue streaks and been ranted at  with the best of them. So when I watch Hard Knocks every year, I’m rarely taken aback when one of the coaches gets in the face of a rookie or young player and lets him have it. Tuesday night was an exception.  Special Teams coach Keith Armstrong was “addressing” his unit in the film room the…

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Reflections on Auburn's Amazing Last Couple of Weeks

Reflections on Auburn’s Amazing Last Couple of Weeks

Auburn University is playing in the National Championship game this year. That statement was highly improbable in the beginning of the college football season this year. It definitely would’ve been an inconceivable thought last year, as Auburn went winless in SEC. This year, however, has been quite a different story. The day after Thanksgiving, Auburn faced the University of Alabama in the “Iron Bowl” and the season took a turn.

Tie game. One second left. The Crimson Tide’s last drive comes to an end and must attempt a 57-yard field goal (which would have resulted in an unbelievably iconic ending to…

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The Mercilessness of College Football's Win-Now Age

The Mercilessness of College Football’s Win-Now Age

What an interesting time it is for college football. Lane Kiffin and Paul Pasqualoni were fired from their jobs last week–Kiffin from USC and Pasqualoni from UConn–after only three years of coaching. After The University of Southern California suffered a loss to Arizona State this past Saturday, Kiffin was let go. Finishing his career at USC with a 28-15 record amid difficult NCAA sanctions, Kiffin’s coaching at USC isn’t universally perceived as failure. For USC athletics, and their fans, however, it’s failure with a capital F. ESPN’s Ted Miller says it best:

The problem with coaching USC is you’re coaching USC. If you…

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The Johnny Football Saga Continues

The Johnny Football Saga Continues

Oh my Johnny Football! The dramatic narrative of college football’s prodigal continues. As we’ve discussed before, the majority of the critique against the reigning Heisman trophy winner has to do with his off-the-field antics. This time, however, it’s Manziel’s antics on the field that are coming up for questioning. Due to signing autographs and potentially getting paid for it, Manziel was suspended for the first half of Texas A&M’s season opener. My Twitter feed has been utterly consumed as of late by comments anticipating Manziel’s return–most of which were anything but merciful.

Manziel’s first two quarters of the season were fairly good statistically, throwing…

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College Football's Prodigal Son and Elder Brother

College Football’s Prodigal Son and Elder Brother

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

Well, it’s almost that time of year. College football is right around the corner. Two words have dominated the headlines in anticipating the big year: Johnny Manziel (or Johnny Football.) Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman, has had an adventurous off-season. His every move has been documented and immediately evaluated, whether it be sharing the stage with Megan Fox on Leno or posting pictures with LeBron James before a Miami Heat game (or other pictures, most of which are on…

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The Weight of Being a Gentleman

The Weight of Being a Gentleman

If you are a fan of college athletics, you are no doubt aware that the University of Alabama – my alma mater – lost one of its most beloved sons this past weekend. Mal Moore, who recently stepped down as athletics director , passed away on Saturday, March 30. A gentle, unassuming man in many respects, Coach Moore was a giant. As a player, coach and administrator, the man was part of ten – ten! – national championships in football. The athletics programs at the University are performing at a very high level, with excellent coaches and strong revenue streams….

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The Harsh, Hopeful Ballad of Urban Meyer

The Harsh, Hopeful Ballad of Urban Meyer

This one may make you cry. Even if, like me, you don’t know much about college football. I’m referring to the jaw-dropping story by Wright Thompson about (in)famous Ohio State coach Urban Meyer that ESPN Magazine ran in August. It is easily the most powerful account of Law and Grace I’ve read this year, not to mention a touching look at father-son relationships. The piece paints a stark portrait of “performancism,” i.e., what it looks like when one’s self-worth is synonymous with one’s achievements, when failure is not an option–in theological language what’s known as “works righteousness.” Of course, performance is…

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A Sinner's College Football Preview

A Sinner’s College Football Preview

University of Alabama nose tackle, Jessie Williams, bench-pressed 600 pounds earlier this summer. 600 pounds. That means he bench-pressed the equivalent of two very large interior offensive linemen. This, along with his surprising quickness, bodes extremely well for Williams’s prospects of occupying more than one offensive lineman (thus leaving at least one of our linebackers unblocked) per snap.

Why does this excite me? Because I am a sinner. I am a sinner’s sinner.  Allow me to explain. When autumn approaches, I go against all theological rationale and wrap myself in the identity that was given to me at birth… that of…

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Championships By Grace (Not Works)

Championships By Grace (Not Works)

With the dawn of every football season, every team (however unrealistic it may be) begins with hopes of claiming the BCS national championship. As the season progresses, they desire to maintain a position whereby they “control their own destiny.” This term, often used in sports, means that a team relies on no external factors for their ultimate fate: if they win their own games, they will make it to the national championship game.

That fateful Saturday inevitably comes for nearly all programs, where the team loses their first game, and the second season of the “scenario game” begins.

After Alabama lost to…

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