I have a lot of friends who are Ohio State Buckeye fans. They put the “The” in front of Ohio State University and always dot the i. And they are proud of what their team accomplished winning the college football national championship, as they should be. I congratulate them.
And Marshall ended their season at 13-1 and ranked in the top 25. They had a great year. All the haters will talk about their schedule, but it’s not like they don’t try to schedule more powerful teams. I congratulate them as well.
When I think of football and football fans, a story I heard about a Cleveland Browns fan comes to mind. You can read it here. The guy died and one of his last wishes was to have six Cleveland Browns players to serve as pall bearers at his funeral… “He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.”
I was born and raised a WVU Mountaineer fan. I can relate to the Browns fan. I witnessed in person the loss to Notre Dame in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl. I witnessed in person the loss to Florida in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. I was there when they lost to Virginia in whatever the bowl was called in Charlotte, and when they lost to South Carolina in the Carquest Bowl in Miami. And looking back, I realize I cared too much about WVU sports. I was really convicted about this a few years ago when I heard Matt Chandler say that he can’t even follow sports because he gets too wrapped up and involved in them. Chandler even played college football.
I haven’t had to go cold turkey. I’ve been able to enjoy them all the while keeping things in perspective. I went to the WVU/Texas basketball game last year. Someone from our church blessed me with tickets so Adam and I could go see the WVU/Kansas State football game this year. But I have blogged before that I don’t care like I used to. They are games. They are for entertainment. They will play another Super Bowl next year.
And when I finished today’s blog and reread it, I almost deleted it. I don’t want it to sound like I’m a jealous Mountaineer fan. I’m truly not criticizing any Buckeye or Herd fans. If WVU wins the national championship in basketball this year I’ll be posting happy comments on Facebook. But I will feel the same way: American sports pale in comparison to eternity and people living lives without Jesus. There is nothing wrong with being fans, but the teams must not become our idols. When we place sports (youth included) before God, they may have just become our idols.
And if you find yourself offended by today’s blog, it might be a sign for you.