My favorite Brett Favre moment this year wasn’t on the football field. It is when he showed up in a television commercial and decides to buy a big flat screen television and then at the last moment says, “Wait, I changed my mind.” People who can laugh at themselves show strength in our overly serious world.
I have followed professional football since the Saints first started playing in the 60s and I was just a kid. But even after watching so many games, I am amazed at the intensity people take into watching a game they are not directly playing. In his particular case, Favre has waffled around as much as any politician I have seen in the past 3 or 4 years about retirement. But why this generates such passion in the media and among fans leaves me scratching my head.
It might seem unrelated but it reminds me of the times that in church that folks are looking at their watches because they are anxious about getting home for a noon kickoff. Now if someone is actually going to a game, I understand the anxiety. There is parking, meals, and other items that must get done. But if they are watching it on TV at home, which is what most folks are doing, is the kickoff of a game really that important? If you are a fan, you will probably see well over a hundred games on TV this year. In their lives they have seen thousands of football games. And in how many of them has something vital happened in the first five minutes of the first quarter?
I think it is great to enjoy football. Despite baseball saying so, I have always experienced football (particularly in the south) to be our ‘national pastime.” But what might life be like if we took that same passion into helping in the community, our jobs, our families, or dare I say into our churches?
The Saints are 4-0 and so are the LSU Tigers. Tulane has won two in a row. It’s a great football season down here so far. And I’m sure more drama will unfold around Favre (who grew up not too far from New Orleans) with the Vikings.
But I hope we can all pause for a moment and think about what is really important.
All the best,