Thursday, August 31, 2006

THE GAME OF FOOTBALL

I've looked and looked for a metaphor, illustration, or picture that would help explain the point I wish to make...here goes...

OU football is a passion with me. [Don't tune me out yet, please.] I'm a season ticket holder. My wife is as bad as I am. We go, game day, three hours early to soak it all up.

But I like OSU too. The Cowboys [that's the Oklahoma State Cowboys] are my second favorite team. I'm pulling for them against every foe they play, except one.

The Tulsa Hurricaines are my third favorite team. We lived in Tulsa for ten years and love the "Caines" except when they are playing you know who. How can I like all three? They are all in my favorite State called Oklahoma.

Recently I heard an exchange on sports radio that made me half mad. One caller, an OU fan, was taking to task another caller who was also an OU fan. What about? The latter OU fan had said he likes OSU also. The former OU fan was irate that a true OU fan would dare say he had any feeling but hatred for OSU. You see where I'm going with this don't you.

Let's say Christians, anyone who names the name of Jesus as True Lord, are like a State. Within that State you have different groups. [OU/OSU/TULSA fans] The common ground for those groups is football. But they've chosen to align with different groups for whatever reason. That's OK. In Oklahoma you're free to be a bit different. It's even OK to believe your group is closest to what governs true great football. [OU is certainly that.]

Somehow, however, there can be respect for ALL those involved in football, whether OU, OSU, or Tulsa. And, certainly, there is no need to be angry with one who is a fan of one group but doesn't hate the fans of the other group. And you wouldn't want, IMHO, to penalize a person because they are appreciative of other group fans. After all, it is football we're talking about here. Let's respect all fans, choose which group best matches us, and not be angry at those among our group who have a love and appreciation for all fans, even those who think differently about some of the teams.

Suppose, as has happened on occasion, something untoward [that's an old word that means "bad" for all you new translation buffs] transpires on the OU team. If the people in charge hide the wrongdoing, the trust factor of many OU fans would be damaged when it becomes known. [Not to mention that it is ethically wrong to hide reality anyway.] But, if faced, spoken of, dealt with, and corrected, not only is trust restored, but the ultimate goal of good football will go on unhindered. Having problems is no problem. Not facing problems honestly and openly is a major problem.

Some rabid fans might see dealing with the problems as disloyalty or hurtful to the team. I don't. I see it as honesty, courage, and a true commitment to what makes football a truly great sport. And, I respect the ones who had courage enough to speak to the problem when they knew many rabid fans would not understand and there could be a heavy price to pay.

Well, I don't know whether anyone understands what I'm saying or not. But it sure helps to say it. As with all parables/metaphors, don't press every point and miss the the heart of what is being said.

By the way, OU will win the Big 12 championship. OU will win the National Championship. OSU will have a great season. 11 and 1 with a major bowl victory ain't bad a tall. Tulsa will win their conference championship. Take it to the bank.

GO SOONERS

Paul Burleson

30 comments:

Wade Burleson said...

Well said --- again.

Paul said...

Paul,

I can still hate Texas, can't I? ;)

Paul Burleson said...

Texas [University that is] is from the under regions of darkness. That's a whole different thing. :)

Paul

Matt said...

Just to let you know Paul, I enjoy reading your blog and OSU and those other guys, OK I'll say it, OU both have September 30th off...I was at the Wednesday Men's Breakfast at HHBC and you had mentioned the bike ride on the 23rd...OSU plays Houston and OU plays Middle Tennessee State...OK, at least one team is idol that night :-P

Paul Burleson said...

Matt,

The corrected date is in the hands of the proper people. It IS the 30th. Thanks for commenting.

Paul

Bob Cleveland said...

This is the guy who loses interest in football games after two or three innings, speaking."

Folks have said to me from time to time, no friend of (his, hers) is a friend of mine. My immediate response is always the same, and is always that no one will tell me who my friends are.

At the height of the controversy whoch arose in March or April (at least as far as I knew) concerning Wade, I started reading blogs. Jerry Corbaley made a remark about his stomach being tied up in knots. If God's given me any sensitivity at all, to such things, I read real pain in his remark. So I called him.

We had a nice 40 minute chat. Turns out I was right about the pain. I told him ... since he knew I'd been commenting suppportively of Wade ... that I wanted to be a minister to whoever I could. I shared the story about when I cut my leg (64 stitches' worth) because of my own stupidity. I apologized to Peg and her response was "All I know is that you're in pain, and I love you".

I told Jerry that if he was a good guy, why wouldn't I support him ... and if he was a bad guy, why would I not want to help him?

As an aside, I shared my own experiences of speaking in tongues and his answer was "Could you get some people like you together for the convention, and minister to us, who believe differently, about that?" My instincts told me he was serious.

Point is: it seems to me that's how the Body of Christ ought to be. Maybe we're too pre-occupied with winning.

When we win, we lose. When Jesus wins, we do too.

Thanks for the post.




August 31, 2006 7:06 PM

Kevin Bussey said...

I like OU fine, it is UT--that is Tennessee and Auburn I can do without.

Actaully Bama people have a lot of respect of OU!

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

I really appreciate your comments and your clear articulation of the theology you hold to, and, your comment here is right on. HOWEVER...

Your opening statement confessed the non-inspired quality of your relationship to football, and I must add, you are not infallible nor are you inerrant in your relationship to said game. Baseball has innings, not football. Football has quarters. 4 of them. But with OU only two are usually needed to blow an opponent away. :)

Seriously, thanks for your frequent comments. You are a blessing.

Kevin,
I have to agree. Bama has some of classy fans as demonstrated when the Tide played here and I interacted with many of them. I was told when OU played there the next year it was the same way. Two great programs.

Paul

annie said...

Hello from the land of REAL football! (east of the Mississippi) When the Tide isn't playing Auburn, I'm for Auburn. The problem is that most of the people at my church consider that heresy. I don't want them to shun me or block my partisipation or censor my teaching and certainly not to shout to the world that I am wrong in my thinking so therefore I just never tell anyone that I like Auburn second-best.
Should I speak-up or, as usual, watch the next Auburn game with the blinds closed?

Paul Burleson said...

Annie,

No one with real courage would let some one shunning them, censoring them, shouting to the world their perceived failures, keep said one from doing what's right.

You only have two options it seems to me. One, stand firm for what's right as a real football fan, or two, live isolated, alone, in the darkness...which shall it be?
[You think about it while I close my blinds.] :)

Paul

annie said...

Paul,
I don't need to think about it but a lot of people seem to. ( Or should I just go ahead and pray, "Thank you Lord that I am not like those other people?") Smiles intended. No lectures from anyone please. OH, and War Eagle!

Bob Cleveland said...

Paul: two things.

(1) of 2: I am a Christian and I live in Alabama. One religion is enough.

(2) of 2: you only met the Bama fans that knew how to drive, get on an airplane, etc. That's maybe ... 25%?

(3) of 2: If you want to know how esteemed Bama really IS ... check Esau's wife in Genesis 36:2.

Is anything like that found in your neck of the woods?

Paul Burleson said...

I'm beginning to think football is serious business in Alabama...or should I say Aholibama?

Paul

Bob Cleveland said...

Now yer talkin'!

Holi is what it be, here.

mr. t said...

Paul,

I believe OU, the Big 12 and others outside the SEC fall into 2nd and 3rd tier categories. I am sorry, but I can't compromise my 1st tier essentials and cooperate with others in the SEC ;-)

GO VOLS!

mr. t
(mr. UT during football season).

Paul Burleson said...

Mr T.

You are funny...and heretical.

Paul


Bob, I had to be honest on the other blog. You understand. :)

Paul

Kiki Cherry said...

My understanding is that teams like UT and Auburn can still make it to heaven--but just not to the highest tier where the Crimson and Cream will reside.

As far as Texas--well, they don't call it "burnt" orange for nothin'.

Bob Cleveland said...

Yes, Paul. I understand. I'm trying to fit in with the football crowd.

I even went so far as to wish Wade success for the Sooners, on his blog. You might check it out to see how accommodating I'm attempting to be here.

Paul Burleson said...

Kiki,

I have come to deeply appreciate your keen mind. It's amazing how OU fans can spot other people with keen minds and it seems those keen minded people always turn out to be OU fans. Prediction-OU 35 UAB-6.

GO SOONERS



Bob,

Let's start over..."This Is a football." :)

Paul

Everyone have a great weekend and Lord's day.

IN HIS NAME said...

Paul,
Thanks for the Wisdom Story of Love and football, we have a (Traitor) in the crowd and I'm going to expose this person.

Bob thanks for your wisdom and Heart for the Lord.

Kiki,
I'm for my home team Penn State and You live in my home State, now I know your Heart for the Lord, but I have to ask you who your favorite Football team is? Now if you don't say Penn State I will have to put a label on you like I told Paul above. You might want to consult Doug on this matter also.

Love
In Jesus Name Wayne

Bob Cleveland said...

Well ... the Sooners just made a home run against UAB so it looks like I'll be watching COPS after all.

Paul, you're about to conVINCE me (he said, stealthily indicating he's old enough to get that last quotation).

Kevin Bussey said...

Kiki,

We agree on the Crimson part! Roll Tide and Boomer Sooner!

Paul Burleson said...

IHN,
Thanks for stopping by. Kevin, looking forward to January. Bob, You really do know how to hurt a guy. ConVINCE...for the uninitiated is a not-too-subtle reference to the ONLY reason Texas beat Oklahoma last year and the reason they WON'T beat them this year, a graduated Quarterback who is now with the Titans, Vince Young. Let's forget those that are behind... :) Paul

Bob Cleveland said...

Actually, Paul, that wasn't who I was referring to (but hey ... I ain't proud ... I'll claim a good shot any way I can get one). I was actually referring to Vince Lombardi, whom you were quoting.

Of course I knew you already know that, but you have to be old to remember it. This is for all the young'uns looking in.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

This is hilarious. I had no idea where that line came fron originally as I was writing it. I certainly remember now but not then. You really are good. This is too funny.

Paul

Bob Cleveland said...

Good? Well, occasionally, by accident.

But since you think so, I'm now free to trot out my collection of brown shirts and start wearing them. They may be 70 years old, but they're still in good shape.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

I now recant of all the nice things I've said about you This is far too much to have that kind of unkind remark made albeit on someone else's blog. What remark? I quote Bob Cleveland...

"UAB-17
OU-17
Officials-7
Because it really was a fumble."

Nothing, I repeat, nothing could be further from the truth.

Paul

Bryan Riley said...

I must say that no matter how good UAB supposedly may be, a 24-17 win by OU is disappointing. I was born in Lawton and was an OU fan during all my early years. I am now a diehard Razorback fan. I know, i know, we have not had the kind of success as an Alabama, an OU, or a Texas, but we sure have put some lickings on all those teams.

Paul, I love the parable.

I can still play Boomer Sooner on my trumpet. I think.

I did think it a little sad, as I watched my young Hogs fumble and throw away the game against USC (31 points off of turnovers, with an average of only 23 yards for USC to go to score those 31 points), that 75,000 people can go so crazy over a sport but do little for Jesus. I hate to say that, because I am the furthest from being a stick in the mud about enjoying life, but i really did mourn something much deeper than our fumbles Saturday night.

Paul Burleson said...

Bryan,

Good to hear from you. I would appreciate it if you would contact me via my e-mail address on the profile as to where, when, how, concerning our phone conversation.

My best regarding your new Kingdom assignment and my regards to you great family.

Paul

art rogers said...

Well, I was late to this string, but I think I understand where you are coming from. My wife grew up rooting for OU, but went to OSU when time for college arrived. Now we live in Tulsa and everyone here roots for the Caines and OU/OSU at least. Bonnie roots for everybody.

Except Weatherford. She grew up in Clinton, OK and they beat their #1 rivals on opening night (with us in attendance, since we live close to home, now) by one point in double overtime. Whew. That was a game.