It's How You Play the Game

by Kevin Alton

This Sunday is the big game! Not everyone cares about “the big game,” but it’s increasingly difficult to find people who don’t have some knowledge of the Super Bowl, even if that knowledge is limited to the artist performing at halftime or how friends fared in their fantasy football leagues. Some players’ careers come and go without ever having played in the game’s most celebrated event. At times all the surrounding festivities seem to overshadow the game itself. Pregame activities and interviews abound; the national anthem seems to require at least one extra commercial break; halftime is extended for its entertainment value; and a postgame someone is charged with recycling tons of confetti in the losing team’s colors.

The Game Matters
Still, the game matters. And though it’s just a game, games have a way of revealing our character—often in unexpected moments. Just ask Tom Brady of “deflategate” fame. Also, recall Richard Sherman immediately following the Seattle Seahawks’ conference championship victory in January of 2014. He blasted the San Francisco 49ers’ receiver Michael Crabtree, shouting in a postgame interview: “I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get!” The rip was viewed by press and many fans as bad sportsmanship. Sherman later attributed the outburst to gamesmanship, saying that who he is on the field requires that kind of attitude.

On the flip side of that coin, Andrew Luck, former quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, received attention for unusually good sportsmanship in the form of compliments to opponents for sacks or other hard hits on himself. Defenders report being confused and even angered by affirmation from an opponent for a great play.

Our Faith Matters
On the field called life, our spiritual lives are no game. How we live out our passion for faith is observed equally by those who believe as we do and those who may even oppose us. Our attitude as we grow in and share our faith with others definitely matters.

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