Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Tiger Woods may have attended Stanford, but the past two weeks have proven how stupid he really is. I like Tiger Woods and believe him to be the greatest golfer of all time, whether he tracks down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 professional Majors or not. Tiger is the best at what he does, but as we learned from Michael Jordan, being the best in a sport has very little to do with being good in the rest of life.

What’s odd is that we think it does. When I was a youth minister, I frequently told students that one of the best ways they could witness for God was by being good at what they did. Colt McCoy, Hunter Lawrence, Jordan Shipley and Tim Tebow are examples of this. By performing with excellence in one area, our very lives are granted credence in the minds others. It’s only natural that people believe that the excellent are excellent. But that’s not always the case. Through all the fist pumps, chest bumps, sunk putts and kicked rumps, we continue to find that our “heroes” are anything but.

Here’s El Tigre, the worlds most recognizable person, complete with a yacht named “Privacy” slinking around, hooking up with cocktail waitresses and pornstars – allegedly – and thinking, presumably, that he wouldn’t get caught; that no one would find out. You’ve got to be kidding!

That’s just plain stupid.

He was bound to get caught.

But it’s the best thing that could have happened to Tiger Woods.

Why? Because of Steve McNair and Michael Jackson.

Last summer, former NFL great Steve McNair was found shot by his girlfriend. A married man, McNair was having an affair with Shalel Kazemi, a 20-year old, who murdered him in his sleep before turning the gun on herself. (In case you didn’t know, if someone continues to hook up with a string of women who do not care that he is married, he will run across one who is crazy!) That’s what happened to McNair, whose girlfriend feared he was leaving her, and that would have eventually happened to Woods. It’s unlikely that it would have ended in murder, but it almost certainly would have been worse than bad press and a re-written pre-nuptial agreement.

And we all know the disturbing tragedy of Michael Jackson. Something dismaying happens to people when we are too tightly insulated. That was the case with Jackson and has been the case with Woods. No healthy person can exists in a world of yes men and staff rather than friends and mentors. Woods – due to our incessant desire to know everything about everyone – had created his own kingdom, perhaps with Elin and his own mother as the only citizens by choice, the only ones who wanted him for him and not cash or celebrity.

This has been his greatest weakness. Tiger has fired caddies and coaches for doing commercials and giving too many interviews. In Tiger’s world, it’s Tiger’s way or the highway. In fact, Tiger’s mom once reportedly told a former girlfriend of his, “There’s only one star in this family. Tiger.” That’s the problem. Everyone needs people in their life to tell us the truth, to remind us that the world, in fact, does not revolve around us and folks like Woods are woefully short of them.

The titillating headlines concerning the train wreck Woods’ life has become over the past two weeks, present Tiger an opportunity. If he can resist the urge to be handled or save face, he can come clean with himself. No one besides Elin needs an apology or explanation. Tiger has the chance, right now, to rewrite who he is, not to resurrect his shattered image, but become a new man. Right now, Tiger can take a big swing.

Deal with your issues, Tiger, – because it’s clear to everyone now that you have them. Become a better father to your kids (good dads don’t cheat on mom). Stop sporting for gullible, star-struck women, using them as objects, and stop doing whatever else you’ve got going on under the surface. Become a man who is honest, friendly, open, humble, straightforward, less the golf machine and more an authentic man. Just think what Jackson’s life could have been had he a chance to be more Michael and less icon. Today Tiger’s life has a chance to be genuine, something, I think, at the end of life, he would much more enjoy than the coat-check girl.

Texas/Ohio Tears

Posted: January 7, 2009 in blogs, kids, sports

A friend of mine, Russ, recently wrote a post about “When Prayers Collide.” It was a helpful reminder than many good people are often praying for opposing things, as is the case with the video below.

I have to admit, I was pretty happy when Texas’ Colt McCoy and Quan Cosby connected for the late go ahead touchdown Monday night, but this little boy felt differently. You have to hurt for him!

Man, I have to teach my kids to take sports with a grain of salt.

In & Out

Posted: August 22, 2008 in friends, grace, life, Obama, reading, sports, theology

A strange thing happens when you’re not blogging: You keep coming up with blog ideas! When I’m actively blogging I spend traffic time and shaving time thinking about the blog, but when there is no blog to write, there are ideas aplenty.

For instance, here are some blog ideas that nevere turned into blogs because of my short hiatus from blogging.

1. Olympics: (A) Why can male beach volleyball players perform fine in a sleevless t-shirt and long shorts, but the woman have to wear…well, they wear next to nothing? This also bring up the question of why sportsradio callers need to talk about the “hotness” level of professional athletes. (B) Does the Chinese Olympic Committee think we really can’t tell what a 16-year-old is suppossed to look like? (C) How big of a fool does Michael Phelps’ dad feel like now? His son is the greatest Olympian ever, but he left them when Michael was a boy. Smooth move, Ex-Lax. Think about that when your ex-wife is making bank doing Chunky Soup commercials next month.

2. Presidential Politics: Many Christian people I know have taken criticism for supporting Obama from their conservative friends and blog readers. Some wonder: How can you support a candidate who is “pro-abortion” (they use “pro-abortion” as if people are hosting mall kiosk asking poor, unwed mothers-to-be to sign-up)? I believe there is a discussion to be had concerning life issues, but I would ask everyone to sign-up in iTunes for the Catalyst Podcast and listen to the interview with Mike Huckabee (who I so wish had won the Republican nomination).

In essence, Huckabee says – as he will in his forthcoming book in the fall – that some Christians and Christian leaders have sold out some of their beliefs for political access. He challenges Christian to be concerned about “Life” issues which include, but are not limited to, abortion. He talks about race and grace in an interesting way that more Christians need to engage. Of particular interest are his reflections concerning clemency for criminals. He comes across as a gracious man who is actully concerned about life, not just dictating how others live theirs. Plus, Huckabee adds, too many Christian vote on the issue of abortion and “do nothing else” concerning life issues.

3. Canonical Theism. A professor of mine, Dr. Frederick Aquino, was a contributing writer to the book, Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and Church. It is a fascinating read which opens the Bible, Theology and the Church in new and exciting ways. If you read academic theology, pick-up this book!

National Props

Posted: April 25, 2008 in race relations, sports

An e-mail I sent concerning Barry Bonds and race to the Jim Rome Show, has been posted as today’s “Huge E-mail of the Day.” Please pardon the type-o’s. But of course, you’re all used to that by now. See the e-mail here.

Go Spurs Go!

Posted: April 22, 2008 in sports, spurs

Let’s do it again in game two, Spurs.

Really?

Posted: February 13, 2008 in perspective, sports

Was anyone as astonished as I was to see Roger Clemens throw his wife under the bus yesterday? Roger said that his wife, Debbie, not him, took HGH. So the HGH user in the house was Debbie, not Roger.

Not only that, but his best friend, Andy Petitte took HGH, but not Roger. Another teammate, Chuck Knoblauch took HGH, but not Roger. And Roger’s trainer peddled HGH, but never to his best customer…Roger.

Everyone close to Roger — including his wife — was dirty, but not Roger. Really?

Okay. That’s believable!

However, whether you believe Roger or not, you have to feel for what his family is going through, particularly his sons. If he really is innocent, this is almost the worse thing that can happen to a professional athlete.

The entire steroid era of baseball should force all of us to ask questions about what is truly important in life. How important is personal success? What are we willing to sacrifice to climb to the top of the mountain.? It should also highlight how fleeting applause and acclaim are. Like Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people who cheer you one day will be calling for your head (figuratively) as soon as the winds change.

Success clearly isn’t worth doing anything for.