Thursday, September 18, 2008

Realigning Priorities

I love sports. I love playing sports. I love watching sports.

In my younger days, my brother and I played every sport imaginable in our back yard or front yard. We played baseball in the spring and summer, football in the fall, and basketball in the winter (remember, being from south Alabama, my exposure to “Yankee” sports like hockey was non-existent. And who in the world ever created Lacrosse? My mother would never let my brother and me run around with sticks in our hands!

Anyway, we played some type of game almost 365 days a year. As I got older, I played some intramural football in college. I’ve played pick-up basketball games for years with various friends. I’ve played church league softball. As I said, I love sports.

Now, as I get older and the demand for me to play is no longer there, I’ve come to learn that my playing days are over (well, demand may have been too strong a word to put there—not sure there was ever a demand for me to play—but since this is my blog, I’ll leave it!)

So, now I watch sports. I’ll watch baseball, football, basketball. I’ll even watch tennis and golf if nothing else is on. Truth be told, I’d probably watch a competition where men (or women for that matter) threw manhole covers across the room! Did I say that I love sports?

But, out of respect and love for my wife, I limit my sports watching. I’ll try to scope out a game or two that I’d like to watch over the weekend, and limit my watching to that game or games. If my beloved University of Alabama is playing (as they are this weekend) I know I want to see them. If there is another great game scheduled for the weekend, I’ll at least try to work that one into my agenda for the weekend. Other than that, I try to let the rest of it go.

But, it is hard to do. It really is. I love to watch sports. Not sure why that is so engrained in me, but it is. I never watched sports on TV as a kid, then again, there weren’t many games shown on TV in those days, or at least I don’t remember there being that many.

I think what it comes down to is the fact that I simply love to watch people competing. I like the thrill of victory and despise the agony of defeat. I love to watch athletics giving their best on the field, leaving everything there for the game’s sake. I love watching people use their God-given strengths in sports, and I guess I am just a little jealous that God didn’t bless me with those same skills and abilities.

So, this Saturday, at 11:30 AM CDT, I’ll be watching the University of Alabama play the razorbacks from Arkansas. I’ll be pulling for my team, screaming at the top of my lungs for them to win!

Then again, if my wife needs me to do something for her or if she’d rather not be a “football widow” for the afternoon, I’ll probably just skip the game and read about it in Sunday’s paper. If we buy a Sunday paper.

After all, in 10 years who will care if Alabama wins or loses? Well, of course, there will be some in our fair state who will, but don’t count me in with that number. There are more important things than college football, or professional football, or tennis, or baseball.

Sure, I love sports. But, I love other things more.

How about you?


  1. I will fall in line with you Steve. For awhile there I watched just about everything. Sunday afternoon was taken up with watching football. Study a sermon? Between 1/2 time (so I said). But then they went on strike and I found out there was a whole lot I could do on a Sunday afternoon. I watched baseball mostly. Never basketball (played it so long got burnt out) or golf or soccer or hockey (why watch something you don't understand?) Now I watch NO Football and very little baseball. I would rather ride my bike or read or do a crossword puzzle than watch TV period. And I definitely would rather spend time with my bride! Oh, I forgot to say...I can't do two things at the same time. Matter of priorities and time.

  2. Confession time. I'm a sports freak. Not as much as I used to be, but compared to the general populace a freak indeed. I love the Charger, Padres, Aztecs and Toreros. I'm not as much of a basketball fan anymore, I'm not sure why. I have noticed that I don't live or die with the games as much anymore and I will go to church even if the game is on at the same time. My wife's a big Padres fan so we end up watching a lot of the games although I haven't gone to one in at least a year if not more.

  3. Sports was pretty important when I was growing up. My brother was a natural at baseball. In fact, he was scouted by the Texas Rangers when he was a freshman in high school. Fortunately, he listened and went to college instead. He threw out his pitching arm before graduating. I was the manager for the high school baseball team and football team. So, needless to say - especially where baseball was concerned - I spent more than my fair share of time on buses with a bunch of sweaty guys and in the dugouts.

    Then of course there's the whole golf thing. While my daddy was a serious Christ-follower... he was also a golfer. I don't have a golfing bone in my body so I only played once or twice. Mostly would just drive the golf cart around as needed. And for me, watching a Golf tourney is exhausting - especially if it's on TV. My mother is heavy golfer still. So, golf is a part of our daily life at least for the moment. They're building a third golf course here in the highly secure gated community.

    Funny how one says that they'll not do something when they get older with their own children. Austin and Travis started playing with a round ball that one kicks into a goal. I became my worst nightmare for a season or two. Then things in life had to change - and away went the practices two nights a week (so that meant three or four since they were on different teams) and games on Saturday. Our sons learned how to play outside, even more so together, and with the neighbors. And honestly, our sons will tell you that's one of the best things that happened to them and their mom.

    Fast forward to now... Hubby still enjoys playing softball. We use it as a way to get individuals who normally won't step foot inside a building known as a church to connect with us.. and us with them. This season, however, there is so much going on that we've decided not to play softball. And funny enough? The band plays on.

    Oh? Did I mention how important Sunday afternoon naps are around here? It is a time when we shut down the house if possible and just be. Talk about your priceless time!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Oh, my comment posted twice.. So.. I deleted the second one.

    No great mystery with the deleted comment. Darn. ;)

  6. guess we know who they will be voting for...

  7. Bill...I think what we've experienced, hopefully, is a reassessing of life, priority, focus, and direction. While sports is good--both in participating and can't become our god.

  8. I like to watch my kids when they participate in sports. Or singing-my daughter's sport.

    I like watching basketball the most.

    Being our family is 5 guys-3 gals we are overruled and we see too much football and Nascar.
    This year they have a family fantasy football league. We gals are bored to tears of every conversation being about it.
    And its just beginning!!!!

  9. Well...Bub...I think I am seeing a pattern men love our sports...

    Maybe it was drilled into us when we were younger...I don't know!

  10. Camey...I obviously know why 20+ sweaty guys enjoyed having you as their manager...but not really sure why you enjoyed being their manager!

    Golf? Is that even a sport?

    I love the refocusing your family is doing and has done over the last year. What a witness for all who know you!

  11. Aaron...thanks for stopping by and commenting...but, I think I missed something with your to discuss further?

  12. Half-dozen...I can hardly wait until my son is older...then, we are in the majority! Oh, but wait, our dog is female...

    So, in our situation, who breaks the tie? Trust me, I know that answer!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting...come back often! Comment anytime!

  13. I have never considered myself to be a sports nut. I do like football.

    Before I went overseas, I was SOONER ONLY. (kind of like KJV Only, but even crazier!) Once we got to West Africa and had no access at all to sports, my fanaticism has diminished to the point that I am now only "enthusiastic" about Sooner football.

    However, now that I am a pastor, I can't scream as much as I used to, or I won't have a voice to preach.

    And, I can actually bring myself to root for another team (if need be) other than my beloved Sooners.

  14. I am all for competitive sports. I want my daughter to be a gymnast and my son to play football. I am competitive and so is my husband.

    Because of his job I am a sports widow year after year. But whatever brings home the bacon. I'll go shopping and he can get his fix. We're both happy then.

    Go Bucks!!

    Heidi Reed

  15. Love God, Love my family and Love Bama football. It is hard not to be a BAMA fan when you grew up in Tuscaloosa like I did. Coach Bryant attended our church as did Jeff Rutledge, Steadman Shealy and Keith Pugh and others! Roll Tide!

  16. Okay are making some of us drool at the mouth...quit bragging! :)

  17. C'mon Rick...I want to hear it...I want to read it in your own type...Roll Tide Roll...

    It will make you feel so much better...

  18. Heidi...will you call my wife? Maybe the two of you can planning a shopping trip!

  19. Steve: LOL! I tell Rich as long as he doesn't mind the bill at the end of the month -- bring it on. :)


    PS: That's not entirely true. I'm really not as materialistic as I make myself seem. I just love to play into stuff sometimes. Ok. Bye now.

  20. Our marriage is a bit opposite. I really like sports and bernard is ambivalent about them (compared to me). I suspect it is due to the fact that my family has always been involved in sports, and he wasn't.

    AND, I only have one other thing to add.

    Brace yourselves.

    GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Heidi...sure...sure...sure...

    Would you mind putting Rich on the blog...and letting him tell us the TRUTH!

  22. Okay...Karma...the flag has been thrown...15 yards...Unsportsman like behavior!

    3rd Down! And Long!

  23. Hi everyone. This is Steve's other half. Although I don't post much, I do read his posts and your comments often. I feel like I know you all!
    Let me just say that since moving to Alabama I have become an Alabama fan. I still don't understand a thing about football, but I do enjoy all the fanfare. I even had Steve buy me a new Bama shirt to wear to school so I could show my support.
    Steve has tried numerous times to teach me about football. I just truly can not figure it out. So, my love, on those days when you want to watch football, I will gladly read a book, do schoolwork, or whatever else to keep me busy while you watch and enjoy. I will even listen intently while you try for the hundreth time to explain to me what is going on. I'll cheer when they make a touchdown and be disappointed when/if they lose. But,more than anything, I will enjoy watching you watch the game. So, Roll Tide Roll! I love you.

  24. Well, Anonymous...thanks for posting. I do love how you say you don't "post often..." If my memory is correct, this is the FIRST post you've, "often" is a little often for definition, isn't it?

    Thanks for posting...and I do hope you'll keep reading...and posting...

    So, on your best that the Mrs. knows how to do this, look out!

    I love you too!

  25. Steve, that penalty reminded of one of the little league games I shot Saturday.

    Bethel's (*my* team) oldest team (called the midgets) offense is okay. They can get the job done, but nothing spectacular.

    Their defense, though, is something to behold.

    Saturday, it went something like this.

    Bethel offense has possession. Makes a few plays, turns the ball over on downs around the opposing teams' 30 yard line.

    Defense comes in. When Asheville turns the ball over 4 plays later, they are 4th down, 45 yards to go.

    Offense comes in (they don't punt at this level, much). Gain a few yards, turn it over on downs.

    Defense comes in, ends up scoring a safety and regaining possession of the ball on a fumble.

  26. I betting watching these games is very fun! It has been a long time since I've seen young boys play...


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