Bo Pelini

How the Texas Longhorns Taught Me About Life

Sports can be awful for spiritual development.  But they can be beneficial (and fun!) if you enjoy them in perspective. They have the potential of being especially sanctifying for a young man who lives and dies with his team, for God uses sports to humble and teach. Anyone who has played golf knows this.

The video highlights below are of two different football games between Nebraska and Texas.  The first is from 1996. Sorry that there are actually no Nebraska highlights! Nebraska lost that game, and I about lost my religion. James Brown (no, not that James Brown) broke my heart on 4th and inches, with his infamous “roll left” for a 61-yard gain.

You see, I was spoiled.  Nebraska had lost a total of two games from the beginning of the ’93 season to that fateful December day in ’96.  Two.  I didn’t know what losing was when it came to being a Husker football fan.  This game against Texas rocked my 12 year-old world.  But thankfully, God used this game to teach me a valuable lesson. I distinctly remember my dad telling me something I will never forget. He looked me in my tear-stained eyes and said, “James, you can never put your hope in people. If you do, they will always let you down.”

The second video is from 1998. We (Nebraska) lost that one, too. Ricky Williams and Major Applewhite chewed up my Husker heart. Then they spit it out and stomped on it. I don’t remember how I reacted initially, but what I do remember was that it was Halloween. After the game, I dressed up, grabbed my plastic bag and headed out to divide and conquer the neighborhood. I came back with record-breaking candy poundage. I’d like to think my dad’s wise words were somewhere in the back of my head that night, helping me put life in perspective (because Halloween candy is so much more important than football).

This week Nebraska plays Texas again. I will enjoy watching the game, and I hope the Huskers come out on top. But if they don’t, my weekend won’t be ruined.  Sports are fun, but they aren’t life. Jesus is life, and when you finally realize that, things like 4th and inches won’t break your heart. Dad, thanks for teaching me that.

1996, Texas vs. Nebraska, Big 12 Championship Game, St. Louis, Missouri (click here to watch highlights)

1998, Texas vs. Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

I Think Jesus Would be a Darn Good Quarterback

Welcome to Saturday.

This is the place where dreams come true, where the clapping is a little louder, where boys become men, where grown men learn to cry, and where the grass is actually a bit greener…on the other side of the goaline.

Nebraska plays in a football game today.  And for the first time in four years, I’m excited to watch it.  For the first time in four years, I expect to clap and (maybe) cheer aloud.

I know football is not that important in the grand perspective of eternity and that there are millions of people today who will be worshiping Wolverines, Bulldogs, Longhorns, Tigers, and Gators, and probably less who corporately worship Jesus tomorrow morning.   I know that every game is just that — a game.  I know that football dominates too highly of a percentage of conversation, especially in my state.  I know that Bo Pelini will not save anyone from their sins and that Tom Osborne coming to Nebraska was, in fact, not the Second Coming.

But, I’m sure that Jesus would be a darn good quarterback, because he’s rather good at everything else he does.  The only question is whether you think Jesus would run a Middle East Coast offense or the Triple “Trinity” Option?  (Go ahead, it’s okay to laugh.)  Besides, Audio Adrenaline tells me that in our Father’s house, there will be “a big, big yard where we can play football.”  I mean, who can argue with that theology?

Welcome to Saturday.  It’s going to be fun.

I plan on enjoying it.  I hope you do, too.

Nebraska 31  –  Western Michigan 14