Some of you are going to roll your eyes and say, “There he goes again.” Many of you know I used to coach football. In addition to my responsibility to The Daily Jot, I also consult with the NFL because what we did in developing character and leadership translated to a bigger stage. The Frederick County Christian Eagles homeschool football team used the sport of football to teach Christian character and leadership. We found that football was a microcosm of life, helping young men learn tenacity, teamwork, resilience, work ethic and more-how to be Godly men, real men that accomplish real things in their lives. The Pro Football Hall of Fame just inducted seven new members who exemplified the value of football in life.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones painted a story of the relationship of football and family. Jones said, “How did we get here. We got here by playing football. Learning there are no excuses for failing…It’s the place where you can make the block on the line. Nobody else knows about it. But the next day when you hit the film, your teammates do. And you can look in the mirror and you can feel as good as if you made six touchdowns the day before. That’s football…when I think about the life lessons, I just cannot t think about other than how bad every day felt when you went out for two-a-days, and you ask about every reason in the world not to be there, but you just keep on keeping on…That’s football. Inspiration. Dreams. We got here with the love of football and the love of family.”
Former Charger Running Back LaDanian Tomlinson said, “I firmly believe that God chose me to help bring two races together under one last name: Tomlinson. I’m of mixed race, and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country, another culture. Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions and creeds living, playing, competing side by side. America is the land of opportunity. Let’s not slam the door on those who look or sound different from us. Rather, let’s open it wide for those who believe in themselves. I’m being inducted into the Hall of Fame because my athletic ability created an opportunity for me to excel in the sport I love.”
Tomlinson continued, “When we open the door for others to compete, we fulfill the promise of one [nation] under God, with liberty and justice for all. On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another. My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow.” Irrespective of your political leanings, Tomlinson’s words certainly can resonate from a Christian worldview. As Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” That’s the ultimate team. For many, football inspires them to become the ultimate teammates.