I’m sure very few people are unaware that football season is fast upon us…High School football on Fridays (and sometimes Thursday), College football on Saturdays (and often on other days), and Professional football on Sundays (and on Mondays). For those who do not play or coach football, there are an entire slew of fantasy games.
I confess at the outset of this post that I enjoy football. I have attended two high school games and a preseason NFL game to date this football season. I have watched two college football games. I also am a member of two fantasy football leagues.
Having said this, football is a false god for many. Here is what I mean when I say football is a false God: This time of year, many people pour out vast amounts of their time, their money, and their passion for a game. This amounts to worship. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
False gods do not deliver. They do not satisfy. They do not finally fulfill the hopes that people want them to complete. Nowhere is this so clear than in college football when the loss of one game shatters the hopes of so many people. The loss of one game is so overwhelming. It robs much of their joy because they had hoped so much in about 70 young men and a few coaches.
I am a University of Tennessee football fan. And it has been hard time for Volunteer fans going back for 3 years. This year looks no different. It will probably be another year of dashed hopes. Yet because this is not just a game for so many, but a religion, the nasty venom of unsatisfied worshippers has begun to fly.
To get just a taste of this venom, check out the comment thread at this link www.govolsxtra.com/news/2009/sep/12/vols-come-short-19-15/?partner=popular, which is the summary of the last week’s game between Tennessee and UCLA (which Tennessee lost). There are almost 1,000 comments, and the vast majority of them are directed toward the quarterback of Tennessee, Jonathan Crompton.
Jonathan Crompton has not played well during his tenure as the QB of the Volunteers. His play has contributed to many losses in the past 14 games. I do not know Jonathan, but I can feel for him immensely. I know what criticism feels like, being a pastor, but I cannot even begin to wonder what it feels like for him right now.
The looks he must get at school…the comments he hears in the locker room…the venom he perhaps reads online or in the paper…the jokes about him on the radio. All of this criticism is because of the way he plays a game…A GAME! He is just a very young man in his twenties. But then it isn’t a game for so many, is it? It is a religion. And more and more, Crompton appears to be a false Messiah.
I suggest this: Look to the real Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will not disappoint. Direct your passion, your time, and your money to him. And say some prayers on behalf of Jonathan Crompton. God only knows how terrible he must feel inwardly right now.