My boss wrote a blog post a few years ago about the celebrations of athletes. It is more relevant now there are
these stories between Cam Newton and Peyton Manning, QB’s of Super Bowl Sunday last week. One from Huffingtonpost.com points out the time that Manning left the field before congratulating any of the New Orleans Saints when they won the Super Bowl six years ago.
No matter what sport it is, it’s common knowledge that after the game the player(s) will shake hands with each other. When it doesn’t happen, it’s a big deal. Or should be, anyway.
In this case, there was not much attention given to Manning’s mistake.
After Super Bowl 50, Newton (who did stay on the field long enough to congratulate Manning!) was described as “humble” by Manning and this I find quite interesting. When all the media was excited about him dancing after plays and touchdowns, where does this humility come from? Dare I wonder if it was there all the time? Maybe that question is too dangerous.
Focusing on American football as a whole, sometimes there is something about it that glares arrogance. Is it because there is already so much pride in it being a unique sport to almost exclusively the U.S.A? Is it because of the physical contact that is allowed? Is it because the field is so big, there is room to make a show before the referees can make a call? Is it the media pushing this sport the most?
I have no idea. I do know that from what I’ve seen, football seems to be a breeding ground for perilous egotism. Why else do stories of humble football players (e.g. Tim Tebow kneeling, high schooler being penalized for praising God, and now Newton) stand out so much.
What is the solution? Continue blowing up stories that highlight the living-out loud yet humble athlete? It’s certainly one way of trying to draw attention to the broken world of sports and painting it in a new light.
So is humility in football, or sports for that matter, truly possible? That’s what CSO is praying and hoping for. When humility is drawing more attention, or less attention, and has become more the norm than it is now… Just maybe, the beginning stages of the action of redeeming sports is in play.
Oh Lord, hasten the Day (2Pet. 3:12).