Does sports fandom help or hurt our walk with Jesus?
When I hear someone say, “War Eagle,” or see someone wearing Auburn sports gear I almost reflexively feel obligated to respond, “Roll Tide!” In fact, it seems like a duty, a moral responsibility even. Years ago, Bill Clinton’s campaign guru and LSU alum, James Carville was asked by the Wall Street Journal to explain the fanatical devotion of legions of fans who never took a step inside a classroom at the schools they follow. He quipped, “Half the people in that stadium can’t spell LSU. It doesn’t matter. They identify with it. It’s culturally such a big deal.”
As a son of Alabama, the heart of Dixie, and the buckle of the SEC football belt, I would suggest this is one of those rare occasions when James Carville was understated. To call football in the South culturally a big deal is akin to saying the Grand Canyon is a big hole. (more…)
An Opening Day Confession
I have an MLB Opening Day confession to make. When I attend a baseball game I feel kind of like I do when I go to church. My children stay home from school on Opening Day because I have declared the day a cherished family holiday. I love the game. It has been the background music of my life and I have only turned up the volume with age.
I remember the first time my family headed east on I-85 from Montgomery to Atlanta to watch our beloved Atlanta Braves at old Fulton County Stadium. Today, I am glad that old, stadium-style facility was put out of its misery in favor of an actual ballpark. But as a boy turning off of the concourse toward the field seeing that perfectly manicured diamond for the first time was one of the most breathtaking sights I had ever laid eyes on.