Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Steelers Rock

I don't know why, but in the past decade or so I've gotten more into watching sports than I used to.

I didn't make the transition from player to fan very well 20 years ago. My little brother was still playing at UTEP, so I went to the games. During one of the first ones that season I nearly got into a fight in the stands with some moron (my pastor used the word "moron" twice in today's sermon; I'm taking that as meaning I can too) who was what we always refered to as "junior high all-american"--basically someone who once played in junior high or something and now thinks they know everything about the game.

I was pastoring at the time, and I think I somehow thought that I needed to develop some sort of compassionate empathy for people, and participating in competitive sports somehow seemed to not be developing those qualities in me. So I tried hard to stop being competitive. It was hard to do. I still very much remember walking in to a gym full of students and parents and hearing my brother yell, "introducing the fattest tight end in the history of UTEP..." As athletes we cut each other down like that all the time, but in my non-competitive desire to be sympathetic, I was a little sensitive.

And I somehow don't think it worked. I'm still not very compassionate. But I have regained some of my desire for watching and even playing sports. And certainly I'm competitive. So it was great to watch the Steelers today. And the game with Baltimore next Sunday should be awesome.

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