The Christian as a Sports Fan

The new school year has started and with it a new year of football, volleyball and other sports as the year goes on.

Do you consider yourself a Christian? If you do, what does that look and sound like at the workplace? Are you mindful to control your temper, to refrain from speaking evil of others, to simply do your best to manifest Christ in your attitude and actions?

What about your behavior in the stands, cheering for your team? Is your faith shown then? Or does it really matter? Here’s what the Bible says,

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’”(1 Peter 1:14–16). God calls us to be holy—in all our conduct. That includes how we conduct ourselves either as participants or spectators at ball games.

Our conduct toward officials. Are you one of those fans who screams at refs when calls don’t go your way? If you are, what does that accomplish? Have you ever known a call to be reversed because of your outburst? Do you convince yourself that they favor the other team and just have it in for “our kids”? Let’s suppose that is true. Does a fit from a fan in the stands, sway the official to be more fair? And what are we teaching children when we do that? What’s the answer when you don’t get your way? Scream and stomp?

Our conduct toward opponents. If your love for any sport or any team compels you to feel or express hatred for another, you are so out of line. Hatred for a player, coach or team because they’re not one of your players, coaches or teams? How is that line ever intelligently and conscientiously crossed?

Our conduct toward our team. Some parents and other fans poison the air with their constant berating, belittling and otherwise insulting the intelligence and effort of coaches and players they are allegedly supporting. Your kids and your team deserve better than that.

So again, are you a Christian? Do others see and hear Christ in you in the bleachers as well as the pews?

Brad Fry

Published in: on August 24, 2015 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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What Are You Going To Do Next?

It has been a hard week to be Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He has had a lot of success in his career as a football coach but one call he made in last Sunday’s Super Bowl will forever be etched in NFL history as a colossal blunder. We all blunder from time to time, but when your mistake is made on the biggest stage in the world, it can be especially hard to bear.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not losing any sleep over Mr. Carroll’s plight. I’m sure his millions of dollars have comforted him satisfactorily in the midst of his embarrassment.

But I bring this up simply to point out what we all already know. That we all make decisions that, in hindsight, we know we should not have made. We all mess up, sometimes very publicly. Making bad decisions, saying stupid things, etc., failing to notice what is glaringly obvious to others, make us all wish that we had a do-over button.

As I was typing just now, I had a notification from a sports app on my phone quoting J.J. Watt, commenting on today being National Signing Day when high school football players determine where they will play their college football. These high school kids are ranked with stars as a gage for how good some “experts” believe they are as prospects. Mr. Watt said, “It’s not all about how many stars you have or how many cameras show up at your signing. It’s what you do next.”

Mr. Watt knows whereof he speaks. He was a two-star player coming out of high school, not very high. Today, he is widely regarded as being one of the best players in the NFL. So the question speaks to us all who have failed embarrassingly, miserably, repeatedly, maybe even publicly. What are you going to do next?

Brad Fry

Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 1:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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