I’m a Texan. Born here, went to college here, still live here. When the air turns crisp and no one can breathe because of all the ragweed in the air, something magical happens.
Football is a religion in Texas. You can worship Friday night (high school), all day Saturday and sometime Thursday night (college), and Sunday and Monday (pros). People change which church service they attend depending on what time the Texans/Cowboys play on Sunday. Out of town trips revolve around away games. Children are banished to the upstairs TV so parents can eat chips and queso and yell for their team. And if the game is really big, sometimes you don’t invite other people over so that you can be grumpy and yell at the refs and coaches without anyone to witness your bad behavior.
What is it about football or any other professional sport that inspires such fantastic fanatics?
As creatures, we were created for a purpose–to worship our Creator. To come together as a group for fellowship and to cheer for the good guys. To lend our voices to proclaiming Truth: that in the end, our team will be triumphant.
We need to believe in something larger than ourselves. We crave the camaraderie that comes from like-minded individuals. The Aggies have a saying:
“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”
That’s a good descriptor for Christianity too, isn’t it?
Some would argue that football is an idol. That can be true, but it depends on the individual. There is a power behind football that, like anything else, can be used for good or for evil.
This past Monday, I went to see the movie Woodlawn with some of our church staff.
Coming off the Aggie’s first loss of the season to the University of Alabama, it was a bit hard to watch such a pro-Bama movie, but who doesn’t admire Bear Bryant?
Woodlawn does a marvelous job of integrating the draw of football with the power of the Gospel to show how Jesus can turn around any situation and person.
The movie is based on a TRUE STORY. This isn’t one of those made-up football teams and fantasy premises. This is how a football team’s conversion healed an entire city in Alabama’s racial wars in the early 1970’s. This is how people in the right position can look past society’s biases and stand up for God’s truth to bring powerful change.
Woodlawn is funny, entertaining, and inspiring. I can’t say enough good things about it. Go and see it while it’s still in the theaters. We need more movies like this.
NOW YOU: Favorite sport? Favorite team?