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Posts Tagged ‘NFL

My 2014-15 NFL Predictions

Here are my 2014-2015 NFL predictions.

NFC East Philadelphia Eagles

NFC South Atlanta Falcons

NFC North Green Bay Packers

NFC West Seattle Seahawks

NFC Wildcards New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers

NFC Champion: Green Bay Packers

AFC East New England Patriots

AFC South Indianapolis Colts

AFC North Cincinnati Bengals

AFC West Denver Broncos

AFC Wildcards Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers

AFC Champion: New England Patriots

Super Bowl Champion: Green Bay Packers

Note: I had a tough time choosing this year.  I wanted to pick the Seahawks but most NFL teams struggle to just make the playoffs following a Super Bowl win.  I think the Seahawks won’t miss the playoffs since most of their team came back from last year.  However, I do think the Packers will get better as the year goes.  Aaron Rogers is a beast at QB for the Packers and if he remains healthy, the Packers will win.

The AFC is wide open.  The fan favorite is the Denver Broncos for their offense but I see Payton Manning not having the success he had last season.  I went out on a limb picking the Dolphins to make the playoffs.  I wanted to pick the Houston Texans with their defense (Watt and Clowney) but went with my gut feeling.  While the Pats are an old team, I think Tom Brady may pull one more out of the hat and give the Packers a great Super Bowl game.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/06/2014 at 11:33 PM

Posted in Sports

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Thoughts on the 2014 World Cup

I am not a soccer fan.  Have never been.  When I was a child, we played some form of soccer at recess when I was in school but I never played it on a team.  I played all other major sports: football, baseball, and basketball.  In fact, my time in my neighborhood revolved around the three big sports here in the United States.

After every World Cup, we get to hear how soccer is rising in the United States.  Just the week I heard a soccer guy say that more children in the US are now playing soccer than playing baseball.  He feels that in 20 to 30 years, the US will have a dominate soccer program at the World Cup level.  One British soccer coach said that the Yanks will outplay England in just a few years.

For me, I don’t care.  I am not a soccer fan.  It is a boring sport to watch.  I suppose if I played soccer, it might interest me more but it is boring to watch matches that are 0-0 for the entire game.  Give me 24-14.  Give me 10-6.  Give me 99-92.  The 2014 World Cup final featured Germany and Argentina.  I was working while the match was being played but I didn’t even know who won till nearly 2 AM.  I had to come home and pull up Fox Sports on my computer to know.  And even then, I don’t really care.  I just wanted to know the score and sure enough, Germany had to win in extra time because the match was scoreless.  When Germany beat Brazil 7-1, I thought that that was a great score but 0-0 is boring.  I want to see goals to keep my interest.

The flopping is also a bothersome point for me.  Players will roll over the ground claiming to be hurt while barely getting touched by an opposing player.  This act of lying is troublesome from a Christian worldview.

Do I think soccer will take off here in the United States?  I think it can become a big sport but it will not out gain the NFL anytime soon.  The NFL is huge!  Soccer can make gains over baseball because (like soccer), baseball can be boring to watch (exceptions would be the playoffs and the World Series).  I actually think the real sport that soccer can challenge here in the United States is not football, baseball, or basketball but hockey.  No one here in the South plays hockey and no one that I knows even cares who won the NHL Stanley Cup (LA Kings won it).  Here in the South, football is dominate and especially college football.  Entire towns revolve around their local football teams.  I know of towns that nearly the entire town turns out for their Friday night games.  Football carries most sports programs in the South.

Soccer?  Well time will tell.  A high school football game will average 10,000 people while a soccer game might have 100.  A college football game (here in my area) will average 85,000.  A soccer game might get 1000.  The top MLS team in attendance are the Seattle Sounders (40,000) but most MLS teams average under 20,000.  The top NFL team in attendance was the Dallas Cowboys (88,000) with the NFL average over 70,000 per game.

I don’t doubt that the World Cup will generate some interest for a while for soccer fans but it will be a long time before soccer is a dominating sport here in the United States.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/14/2014 at 12:03 PM

Posted in Sports

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Why Jackie Robinson and Michael Sam Are Not The Same (And Never Will Be)

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier of Major League baseball in 1947.  Robinson made baseball better because of it.  Robinson also was a star on and off the field even after his retirement from baseball.  His number “42” remains the only number to be retired by all MLB clubs to this day and I suspect it will forever be that way (though Hispanics want Roberto Clemente’s number retired in all clubs as well).

Today ESPN and others are pushing for Michael Sam to be hailed too for he is about to be the first openly homosexual player in NFL history.  We are being told over and over and over again how brave Sam is for doing what he is doing and how he is changing the game the way that Robinson changed baseball (and sports) for the better in 1947.  Sam is being compared to Robinson in every way.

But there are major differences between the two.

First, Robinson, before 1947, was banned from Major League baseball for one reason: his skin color.  This was nothing he could change.  Sadly, many Negro League players could have been MLB stars had they been given the right to just play baseball.  Great Negro League players such as Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige (when he was in his prime), and many others.  We also forget that Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and many other black players started in the Negro Leagues because of racism.

Racism is profoundly different from homosexuality.  A man cannot change the color of his skin.  His skin is sacred because his skin color has been given to him by God.  Underneath, a black man is no different from a white man nor a white man different from an Asian man.  Our skin pigmentation might be different but inside, we are still humans.  A black man could marry an Asian woman and produce offspring that while mixed in their skin color, they would still be human.  Skin color then is precious before God.  Racism is the sin of thinking that one skin color is better than others.  We must remember God’s promise in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you all one in Christ Jesus” (NIV).  This is not taking away our unique sex given to us by God nor our skin color nor our language, etc.  It is simply pointing out that in Christ Jesus, we are one.  God’s children are those who have been baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26).  In reality, God sees people either as in His Son or outside of His Son (John 3:36; Colossians 1:13).  We are either sheep or goats (Matthew 25:31-46).

Jackie Robinson could never change his skin color.  But he could be a great baseball player.  And he was.  He won the 1947 National League Rookie of the Year and went on to lead the Dodgers to the 1947 World Series (which they lost).  He won the National League MVP award in 1949.  By the end of his career (10 years!), Robinson would retire with a .311 career average.  He hit 137 home runs and stole 197 bases.  His team was in the World Series 6 out of the 10 years he played and won the World Series in 1955 (by the way, Robinson’s Dodgers were 1-5 against the New York Yankees in all those World Series’).  Robinson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Now Sam has yet to play a down in the NFL so it’s actually not fair to pit stats from Robinson against him and they do play two different sports but my point is that Robinson was proving something, he was showing the world that the color of a man’s skin has nothing to do with his talents.  Robinson was showing that a black man could play with the white players in the Majors.  His skin color had nothing to do with his greatness on the field.  Robinson was elected to the Hall of Fame for being a great baseball player first and foremost and not just for the fact that he was the first man of color to play in the Majors.  I suppose that would have been the case had he not had a great career but Robinson left no doubt about his talents.

On the other hand, Sam is being praised for being the first openly homosexual in the NFL.  Again, he has yet to play a down.  Most are picking him to be a mid round pick meaning that he still needs some work to become a great NFL player.  Perhaps he will be but perhaps he will not.  Yet sports writers are praising Sam as if he is Robinson, as if he has performed at the same level.  He has not.  Not yet.

Further, Robinson was a humble man.  When asked why he was trying to make it with the Dodgers, Robinson simply said, “I just want to play baseball.”  Robinson knew what was at stake but he also knew that baseball was meant to be colorblind.  After all, a box score doesn’t show a man’s color.  It only shows what he and his team did that day.  Robinson opened the door for other men of color from blacks to Hispanics to Japanese to become Major Leaguers.  He is right to be praised.

Sam has made one decision here.  He has announced he is a homosexual.  A position, by the way, that he could change (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Robinson never had that chance.  Sam has been praised for his sexual desire and lauded by ESPN as being so brave to go into the “manly” NFL as an openly homosexual player.  This is an issue of choice and not an issue of skin color.  To this day there is no proof that a person is born a homosexual.  It is a lifestyle choice.  It is a choice about sex.

Robinson (and others before him) were banned from baseball because of their skin color.  A fact they could not change nor needed to.  This was not a choice.  This was not a sin.  The sin was others racism toward them and not their own.

Sam has not been banned from the NFL.  In fact, the NFL nor any other professional clubs ban homosexuals or any other person from trying out for them.  They are concerned only with helping their teams win.  If you can make the team, you are in the NFL.  Homosexuality is not the same as the skin color ban of the former professional sports.  Not even close.  Jason Collins is still playing in the NBA as an openly homosexual player.

In closing, I wish Sam no ill will.  Perhaps he will make a great NFL player.  Perhaps not.  Either way, I don’t think this will be because of his homosexuality.  If Sam makes it in the NFL, it will because he played good football.  Meanwhile, Sam (who is black), will play next to all skin colors.  None of them will be banned from playing for their skin color.  Nor will Sam be banned from playing because of his sexual desires.  But Sam will play because of Jackie Robinson.  Had Robinson not done what he did in 1947, Sam would not be allowed to play in the NFL nor would he have played for Missouri in college.  He would be watching or playing in a Negro League because of his skin color.  Robinson changed that.

In the end, Sam will never be like Jackie Robinson.  Robinson’s skin color was obvious.  He represented a whole group of people who were banned from the Majors for one reason: racism.  Homosexuals are not the same.  There are black, white, Hispanic, Jewish, etc. homosexuals.  There are no people groups whom we can point to and say, “Homosexuals” like they could at Robinson.  Homosexuals are linked together by one prominent idea: a sexual preference.  Skin color is not even an issue.  These two men were completely different and represented totally different things.

Let us pray for Michael Sam.  He can be transformed by God’s grace and mercy.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/23/2014 at 7:00 PM

Thoughts on Michael Sam’s “Coming Out”

ESPN is going crazy with story after story now that the first NFL fully openly homosexual player has come.  They have been seeking this for some time.  Some were trying to say that Aaron Rogers, the Green Bay quarterback, was homosexual but he denied such rumors.  The idea of an openly homosexual player in the most popular sport in the United States has been something that has been sought for some time.  ESPN has been praising Sam, a Missouri defensive player who is going to be drafted in the upcoming draft in May.  Sam is a solid player and I will not deny that he is good.  I saw him play when South Carolina faced him and he was a solid NFL type player.

From a sports perspective, I don’t care if the player is a homosexual.  From a pure sports angle, I don’t care what the color of the skin is of the player, where they are from, what college they played, who their favorite singer is, etc.  I just want to see them play on the field.

Yet ESPN will not stop there.  Neither will any other of the media.  Sam will be watched, praised, and never criticized for his lifestyle nor his talents on the field.  He will get a pass.  Unlike say a Tim Tebow, who did have his skill faults, but was consistently ridiculed by ESPN.  I have seen Tebow being criticized for being a virgin and because he avoids sexual immorality yet Sam gets praised for his sexual choice.  The unfair agenda is clear.  Sam must succeed just like President Obama has to go out a success and never a failure since he was the first African-American president.  Sam, being the first openly homosexual player, must succeed and both the NFL and major sports venues will make sure he does.

Of course I wish him no ill will.  I pray that Sam will, in time, repent of his sins and become a disciple of Jesus.  I pray that he will one day announce (and lose his job on the same day by doing so I would add) that he has repented and is now a disciple of Christ and is free from his sins.  Jesus can and does do this (Ephesians 1:7).  Scripture is clear that homosexuals (like all us sinners) can be saved from their sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

The one thing this does guarantee for Sam is that he will be sought after by NFL teams for not just his playing but the fact that he is a homosexual.  NFL teams want this.  Further, Sam can play a few years and even if he doesn’t have long-term success on the field, he can write a book on this and even do a movie (or a play) on his “coming out” as the first openly homosexual NFL player.

I predict that most sports fans will not care.  Sadly, the NFL praises a guy like Michael Sam for his “bravery and honesty” in coming out but they don’t praise NFL players for being brave and honest when they disagree with homosexuality (just google Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers).  Further, the NFL never praises their players for being faithful heterosexuals who love their wives and are good to their children.  I find this the real tragedy through it all.

Again, I think Sam was a good college player.  Not the best I have seen but a good player.  I wish him success in the NFL (whether homosexual or not) but I do pray that he repents and turns to Christ.  And I pray that we would learn to see men of God as role models rather than Michael Sam.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/10/2014 at 1:32 AM

Posted in In the News, Sports

Tagged with , ,

Congratulations Marcus Lattimore!

Marcus Lattimore was one of the best college football players I have ever seen play.  It was not just his skills on the football field that made Lattimore great.  It was his ability to motivate players to excellence around him.  The guy was a beast in his sense of team and his goals.  He worked hard and never gave up.  He also had an ability to motivate others around him to be their best.  Before Marcus Lattimore came, South Carolina had some good players but what was missing was the man who would lead.  Coach Spurrier worked hard to recruit Lattimore to come to South Carolina.  In the end, it was Spurrier dancing with

imagesLattimore’s mother in their home that led Marcus to sign with the Gamecocks.  From the time Lattimore arrived, he was a beast.  Few players at South Carolina worked as hard as Lattimore did.  When Marcus arrived, the summer months at South Carolina were spent with family or just goofing off until camp opened in August.  That changed with Lattimore.  He became a leader who demanded that the Gamecocks give all to South Carolina even in the off-season.  Marcus knew that to be great you had to work hard.  He knew that other SEC teams like LSU or Alabama worked out all year even without coaches.  He vowed to do the same.  And the Gamecocks worked and worked and it showed.  They bd a strong faith in God.  Marcus was committed to Christ and it showed in his work ethic and in his team mates.  There was not a player on the South Carolina Gamecocks who did not look up to Marcus.

After Marcus came to South Carolina, Spurrier began to recruit top players much like Marcus and they began to develop a team spirit.  Marcus was the leader with others following behind him such as Conner Shaw or Dylan Thompson or Clowney.

Today, the San Francisco 49ers picked up a great running back.  Yes he was hurt against Tennessee and I thought he would never play again.  He proved most of us wrong.  Marcus is still training and getting ready for the NFL and while he may never been the greatest running back in terms of numbers either at South Carolina (George Rogers is that) or at San Francisco, he will no doubt motivate the 49ers to win.  I fully expect San Francisco to compete for a Super Bowl title with Marcus on their team.  While he may help them here or there, his ability to motivate the 49ers will not be underestimated.  I am proud of Marcus and the man of God that he is.  Ya’ll watch this young man and remember that he loves Jesus.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

04/27/2013 at 7:40 PM

What If Tim Tebow Were Anything But A Christian?

No matter where you fall on the Denver Broncos, you have to admire Tim Tebow for the way that he is leading his team.  I would agree that his numbers are not the numbers of say Cam Newton at Carolina but he is doing what Cam doesn’t and that is he wins.  Granted Denver is in a poor division but to lead any NFL team to victory is good in of itself.  Yet the fascination with Tebow is not just what he does on the football field but with his faith.  Here is a guy who was home schooled, his parents are missionaries, and he always spoke openly about his faith even at the University of Florida.  Here is a guy who is clean, is a virgin, and is a hard worker on top of that.

And yet many problem dislike Tim Tebow.  Part of it has to be his faith.  Recently I saw where former Denver quarterback Jake Plummer said that he likes Tebow but is tired of hearing Tebow mention Jesus every time he gets the chance.  Plummer stated, “We know he loves Jesus and that is good but do we keep have to hearing about it?”  Some evangelicals are noted for agreeing with Plummer’s view of Tebow.  “He carries Jesus out there too much” is the complaint.  I find that ironic coming from people who claim to know Jesus and seek to obey Him.  How can we ignore glorifying Jesus whenever we get the chance?  Is not our duty to make Jesus’ name known (Matthew 28:19)?

What is even more troublesome is what it would be like for Tim Tebow if he were anything but a committed evangelical Christian? Suppose Tebow was a Muslim.  Remember when Mohammad Ali changed his name from Cassius Clay to Ali?  The media had no problems (and still don’t) with Ali being a Muslim nor him praising Allah.  Steve Young, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is the great-grandson of Mormon “prophet” Brigham Young.  No one says anything about Young’s Mormonism.  Dale Murphy was a devout Mormon who played with Atlanta Braves and Phillies in the 1980’s and no one had a problem with Murphy’s Mormonism.  How about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who has criticized the United States for being afraid of Muslims?  Husain Abdullah is a safety for the Minnesota Vikings and he is known for his devotion to Islam to the point that he will not take water when he is fasting despite playing football.  Abdullah also is a regular speaker to inner-city teenagers about Islam.  The media ignores Abdullah.  The list could go on and on.

What if Tebow were a devout atheist (I know devout about what?)?  Or a Hindu?  Anything but an evangelical.  What if Tebow were always saying, “Praise be to Allah the merciful” instead of “Praise Jesus Christ”?

Now frankly, I am always a bit worried about Christians elevating people to superstar status.  Too often they have come crashing down.  In 1 Timothy 3:6 Paul warned against appointing new converts to places of leadership lest they become like the devil and be full of pride and fall.  Jesus said that the greatest among us shall be the servant among us (Matthew 20:20-28).  Sadly, the Western Church often takes people who are new converts or young in the faith and places them as the spokesmen for the faith only latter to watch as the person gives in to sin, falls under pride, or simply brings shame to the name of Jesus through their words or actions.  We must be careful.

Years ago Bob Dylan made a “conversion” from Judaism to Christianity.  I remember reading this for the first time in Keith Green’s biography, No Compromise.  Keith Green even reached out to Dylan and included him on one of his songs playing harmonica, I Pledge My Head.  Yet sadly Dylan turned away.  Dylan returned to Judaism after studying under a Jewish sect teacher in 1982.  What is sad about this story is that the Vineyard had been quick to rush Dylan out front.  He even recorded a gospel album which featured the hit single, “You Gotta Serve Somebody” which Dylan now says was about large companies and not about God.  The Vineyard reasoned that Dylan would be an example to the world of God’s trophies of grace so they pushed to have Dylan out front speaking for Christ.  In 1983 Dylan released an album entitled, “Infidels” and the Vineyard was done with Dylan.

We must be careful to exalt Jesus alone.  Not Tim Tebow.  Not Deion Sanders.  Not anyone but Jesus!  The Church rises and falls on the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15-20) and not the works or testimonies of men and women.  Jesus must be exalted.  We would do well to read 2 Corinthians 4 and take to heart the words of the great Apostle, Paul of Tarsus.  If anyone could have been a religious superstar it would have been Paul (Philippians 3:4-8) yet his passion was not to glorify himself but to exalt Jesus.  That should be our goal as well as the Church.  We should desire to make Jesus great and ourselves nothing.  As John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  

Let us pray that Tebow glorifies God but let us also pray that the Church makes Jesus alone the one that we look to as our perfect example (1 Peter 2:21-22).  Let us seek not to lift high an athlete or a pastor or anyone other than the one who alone is worthy to be praised, the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:12-13).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/09/2011 at 10:00 AM

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