lundi, janvier 16, 2012

Tim and Tom and Eli: Does CHARACTER matter?

Some of you quietly loved Tim Tebow and his very open displays of faith.

Some of you, on the other hand, were hoping he'd crash, burn and be as publicly humiliated

I, on the other hand, became progressively more uneasy with the tenor of the conversation -- which used a young man who happens to be an evangelical Christian as surrogate in a sometimes tense conversation about faith in the public square.

And what a crazy venue in which to have this conversation --in one of the temples of American civil religion.

Those of you who know me well know that I'm not a huge fan of the game of football.

A lot of my ambivalence about the game is because I don't understand it (as I say in my profile).

And though I'm beginning to become a bit less dumb (yeah, that's about right) about what's going on, it still often seems to me that the strategy is for grown up men to run up and down the field and crash into each other....causing as much bodily harm as possible.

When you have a game that's based on 300-pound guys tackling each other, people are going to be hurt. No matter whether you call it a tackle, or an interception, or a sack.

Football is a brutal game, no way around it.

Let's reframe the conversation.

Let's ask about character.

Tebow has gotten his moment in the sun, with his every decision analyzed endlessly. He sounds like a genuine and honest guy.

Brady has had a child out of wedlock, but unless you count having premarital sex against him, there's not a lot of scandal around him. The taping scandal of a few years ago wasn't Brady's idea.

I'm from New Yawk -- so of course, I'm biased. That aside, Manning and his storied brother and dad are dedicated to acts of charity, and generally seem to avoid the celebrity limelight.

Are they all good sports? I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that a quarterback ought to inspire the team.

What do I know? That bar has been lowered so much that anyone who doesn't end up in jail could be considered a saint.

And we also seem to worship the glamour boys, without admitting that the running backs and the wide receivers and special teams are crucial. Eli was brilliant last night, but he could not have done it without his brothers.

Look at college football and see the damage our hero worship has done...

Look at Penn State.

And that's probably what bothers me the most -- when we make a god of a violent game, and turn our eyes away from the collateral damage.

Like our children.

So can we get over expecting God to step in to help a particular team?

I suspect He's got bigger things on His mind.

Even (sigh) when the Giants are playing.

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