Do you have any spiritual encouragement for university football team? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Hi, everyone, I could use your input and suggestions. I live in a university town, Montana State University is in my town, and today while at a fourth of July gala I spent several hours with 7 of the african-american football players on the team. They are between the ages of 18 and 21 and are far away from home. They are from big cities. Last year the football team lost EVERY game. As you can imagine they are still recovering from last year. Their first game is in August against the University of Alabama. The young men tell me they have a strong defensive line. They do not feel they can win. I have invited them to join our church and they are excited about having a church home and will be there this week. Do you have any suggestions how I can help them rely on God and to see themselves as winners with Christ. I know nothing about football, but for my kids I am going to learn everything I can. I think there are some wonderful spiritual lessons these young people can learn.And our church will be at all the games. Now is football the one where you run around the bases? (Yes I am kidding;-) Thanks everyone, I want to help them anyway I and my church can.

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2001


Well, Well Sister Rogers,

If Montana State University lost every game last year and is up against the " Crimson Tide" at the University of Alabama, you might want to encourage those players to transfer to another school if possible. I see no other way than a miracle from God that Montana State U will be able to defeat this football powerhouse.


-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

Jazzman God is still in the miracle business! Yes there is the strong possibility that they will lose, but I want these young men to grow in their Christian faith. These are young men, who have not attended church for a long time.All of their energy is focused on winning football games, I want them to know Jesus is with them no matter what. O.k. I know nothing about the Crimsom Tide, do they ever lose? Actually I am looking at my calender to see if I can go to Alabama for this game. Because the football team lost all of their games last year, it has impacted their grades and their self esteem. Our church is going to recruit tutors and set up some mentoring programs. The African-American athletes have had no support. So there is more going on that winning football games. I also found out there are more African-American Athletes who will be coming to the university this fall, so our church wants to be there for them. I think I heard something about Bishop Bryant starting a Young Black Men mentoring program in the fifth district. Does anyone have any info on that? Jazzman my daughter is laughing because I am doing research on football. Hey their coach hasn't been any help to them. Maybe what they need is God and the AME church. Joy in Christ for all things matter to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001


Since I am a former "corner" [the football geeks on this BB know what this is :-)] and still play flag football let me add my 2 cents. Football, like all team sports, is based on execution. If everyone does his job you can score from anywhere on the field. Irrespective of MSU's talent, or the lack thereof, the game is based on two fundamental activities: blocking and tackling. If you excel in blocking your tail back can see the "hole" and make substantial rushing yardage. If your offensive line can hold their blocks the QB can see the defensive secondary, make the right reads and allow his reciever to run to the right spot for a "go" pattern, skinny-post or curl route. Tackling is the most important skill in football. Tackling prevents your opponents from advancing the football and most importantly, reduces the probability of your opponent scoring touchdowns. Effective tackling causes your opponent to face 2nd and long or 3rd and long, thus forcing them to punt thereby turning the ball back to your offense. Poor tackling creates 2nd and short or 3rd and short which raises the probability that the oppossing team will make repeated first downs [moving the chains in football lingo] and eventually leading to scoring opportunities in the "red zone". Quality coaching, like the redemptive Blood of Jesus, can hide a multitude of sins, ergo, athletic shortcomings. You may not have a Heisman prospect in Bozeman but provided the team executes according to fundamental blocking and tackling principles, the team will be competitive. I suspect MSU is Division 1-AA so the upcoming schedule should have some cream puff opponents which may lead to victories. Now playing Division 1-A powerhouses like 'Bama or USC or neighboring Colorado is helpful in raising money for the school but not raising the morale of the players who have to endure whippings like 82-10. So, to bring this jargon-filled reply to a close remember the first rule of collegiate football: Always schedule a creampuff for homecoming!! Get on the horn and call the AD's office at Prarier View AM for a "non-conference" game next year. QED

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

Brother Bill, God Bless you! I am printing your response and will pass it out in church and circulate it among the team players. I might add my daughter who is our Religious Education Director said "Mom I am 5'5 and I am bigger than the MSU football team." You also picked up on what the problem is in regard to this team. They should not even be in the same division as the University of Alabama. These young athletes come here to a rural environment expecting certain things that have been promised to them. And the University does not support them or fullfill their promises to the students. For the first time in years there will be a Black Student Union on Campus. Rules were changed so that a community organization can sponsor the Black Student Union. So St. Paul Community Church will sponsor the organization, with my daughter our Religious Education Director being the liason between the African-American students and the church. Montana State University has about 60 African-American athletes. If ever there was outreach for the AME church, it is with the Athletes. After reading your response Bill, I am wondering if there is a larger issue that we as the AME church should look at. How are our African-American athletes doing in the universities, not only in their respective sports, but are they finishing their degrees. I want out athletes to finish school. I believe that having the support of a church can help. What do you think about African-American athletes in terms of their treatment at universities?

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

Greetings, Rev. Rogers. As usual you ask am interesting question. As far as treatment for Black athletes is concerned, according to Black Enterprise, the record is digraceful. Several times a year BE publishes the "non graduating" rates by sport. It is shocking to see so many colleges with a 0 graduating rate for Brothers. The rates for the white athletes are not all that good either but they fare better than the Black athletes usually.There is indeed a need for spiritual support. However, that goes for all college students, not just the athletes. My church is in a college town, Boston. The AME Churches here all reach out to college students and bring them into the church under Watchcare. We have College Fellowship also. It is a great feeling when they graduate and the parents may visit the church to thank the congregation for being there for their child over the years.At St. Paul this is just one of the legacies of Bishop John Bryant when he pastored here. He was at the campuses all the time. Churches that have schools nearby can be a source of spiritual support and guidnace for kids that may be a long way from home. Your original question was about athletes and was well taken. They have additional needs , both academic and spiritual. J Paul Getty is quoted as saying, "watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves." Bringing the players to Christ will make them winners. Winners in life. Football is only a game. I played in the "old days" and know,you win some and you lose some. At MSU, as in most schools, it is a vehicle to provide an education. Your church can support them and give them advice that the school will not give like what courses to take etc. Get them to Christ and life will take care of itself. God Bless you and St Paul Community. I will keep you in prayer.

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

Thanks for the advice Bob. But now I am curious how many of you that read this board played sports in college, what was your experience?

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

While doing some research for my sermon on football this sunday. (smile) I came across an article on Darren Carrington a football player for the Oakland Raiders. In his words this is what he says about football and God."Footbal, basketball, baseball, name it, I was into it. As a kid my whole lifce was sports. My favorite time was winning the new york city 50 yard dash and long jump when I was 13. When I got to college, I focused on football. And as a senior I became an all american at northern arizona university, and was drafted by the denver broncos. After the 89 season, I went to detroit and then to the San Diego chargers from 91-94. In 95 it was off to the jacksonville jaguars and then in 96 I became an oakland raider. In my first year in the NFL, I played in the super bowl, and I thought life just couldn't get any better. That was before I met some people in a Christian youth group who were totally sold out for God. I learned the most important thing in life was having a real relationship with Jesus christ." He goes on to say "Even being a pro football player doesn't give you the courage that God can give you. Through Gil Byrd's example, I set out to do some tough things. I decided to stop living with my girlfriend. We waited the next 13 months, until after our wedding to live like married perople. Life as a professional football player can be great, but the the truth is you're only as good as your last play. You realize the world and even some of your friends only love you for what you have or what you can give them. But my faith in God helps me deal with all of this. I know that, through his son, he loves me no matter what. And that"s where real confidence andd strength come from."

-- Anonymous, July 06, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ