Posts tagged "Football"

Thoughts on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Saga

Thoughts on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin Saga

Racism; blame; weakness; bullying and hazing–terms with which you are familiar if you know anything about the recent story concerning Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. For the past couple of weeks, this story has absolutely dominated sports news networks, reporting recent developments and consequent commentary. First the focus was strictly on the vulgar text messages sent by Incognito to Martin, which lead to the discussion concerning “locker room culture” in the NFL as well as on the college and high school athletic levels. Various Dolphins players have answered questions about Incognito and Martin, and both Dolphins…

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The Appeal of Running and Shooting and the Foolishness of Giving

The Appeal of Running and Shooting and the Foolishness of Giving

Football fans love quarterbacks. Basketball fans love point guards. In this week at Mbird sports, we’ll examine some key elements that make up the two positions, and try to make some distinctions as to why they are so beloved, while noting how they may be even more attractive today than ever.

Joe Namath. Peyton Manning. John Elway. Joe Montana–what’s the appeal? Is it the all-american poster boy persona? The rocket arm? Maybe it’s how they dissect defenses/secondaries with ease, and place the ball exactly where they want. Is it leading offenses downfield and calling audibles amongst screaming fans, keeping everyone calm…

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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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Adrian Peterson’s Theology of Glory (and Why It’s Unhelpful)

Adrian Peterson’s Theology of Glory (and Why It’s Unhelpful)

Perhaps you know the story: Adrian Peterson, who suffered from an injury that was to alter his career (tearing his ACL), returned the next year and had such a good season that he was named the NFL’s most valuable player. Players who tear their ACL usually don’t bounce back very well or very quickly, let alone win MVP awards. But Peterson is now on track to break Emmit Smith’s all-time rushing record. This is remarkable, and Peterson’s recognition is extremely well-deserved.

Anytime a star athlete overcomes adversity and succeeds, the sports world basks in the celebratory glory along with the triumphant…

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Helicopter Athlete Parents and the Pressure to Perform

Helicopter Athlete Parents and the Pressure to Perform

Tim Elmore, a leadership development sage who works frequently with Division 1 athletes, talks convincingly (and insightfully!) about parenting, Law, and the pressure on athletes to perform:

You may or may not believe this, but even in Division One athletics, parents stay engaged with their child’s sport, often at the same level they did through their growing up years. Moms will call coaches and advise them on how to encourage their daughter or son. Dads will call coaches and ask why their kid isn’t getting more playing time. Parents will call strength and conditioning coaches and inquire what they’re doing about…

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What Would Coach Courtney Do? The Unbelievably Believable Grace of Undefeated

What Would Coach Courtney Do? The Unbelievably Believable Grace of Undefeated

You have to be very careful when you bill something as “the real-life Friday Night Lights“. I don’t just say that because, in more ways than one, Friday Night Lights itself is the “real life Friday Night Lights.” I say it because that series occupies such a vaunted place in some of our hearts that its name cannot/should not be invoked lightly. Which is another way of explaining why I dragged my heels about watching Undefeated as long as I did. Even after it won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2011, even when numerous people insisted it was “the…

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Crunch Time: What We Can Learn From Athletes About Dealing with Stress – Nick Lannon

Seeing as Wednesday has become our unofficial sports day, we continue with our series of conference videos with Nick Lannon’s terrific presentation on success and failure in the public eye:

You may download the audio recording by clicking here.

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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Real Christians Don’t Sin: The Least True Thing Said During the Super Bowl

Real Christians Don’t Sin: The Least True Thing Said During the Super Bowl

During his pre-Super Bowl interview with Shannon Sharpe, in which Sharpe raised the question of Ray Lewis’ alleged involvement in a 2000 double murder, Lewis made the following, completely untrue, totally unbiblical statement:

“If (the family of the victims) knew, if they really knew, the way God works, He doesn’t use people who commit anything like that, for His glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.”

I’m sorry Ray, but Moses begs to differ. As does David, and Paul. All murderers. Praise God that this isn’t true; that God does, in fact, use sinners for His glory and His purposes. He has…

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Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ:

In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held “unfavorable feelings” toward Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent toward evangelical Christians…

The core evangelical belief is that love and forgiveness are freely available to all who trust in Jesus Christ. This is the “good news” from which the…

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Bob Costas and “Perspective”

Bob Costas and “Perspective”

Early on Saturday morning, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, then drove to the Chiefs facility, thanked his coach, Romeo Crennel, and general manager, Scott Pioli, before shooting himself. Belcher and Perkins leave behind an infant girl.

As many have said more eloquently than I ever could, this is an unspeakable tragedy. Belcher’s teammates have spent the weekend with microphones in their faces, trying to come up with something to say about a teammate that they, all of a sudden, fear they never knew.

There is no easy transition from the facts of the story to a…

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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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