Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lesson 120: Touchdown Jesus

It's Super Bowl Weekend, Readers!  For you Slovenian followers, if you are not up to date on this event of American culture, it has nothing to do with soup (that's a homophone) and not a thing to do with bowling.  It's all about football (and eating).  Read on for more information.

Eloise is a sports fan, but football is my favorite.  My heart lies in the nine weeks of high school games every fall.  There is no passion that matches the excitement of kids when they are about to hit the gridiron on a Friday night. Everyone is full of hope and I hear it in the chatter of the school hallways where I teach.  A distant second is college football.  It  is fun to watch too,  as I do believe the players are at their very best then.  It's not just because the athlete's bodies are so primed and perfect for the sport between the ages of 19 and 22; its the fact that they are playing to impress.  Most are going for the big dreams of the pros which means of course, the big money.  You never play harder and with more passion then when you're chasing some serious cash.

By the time these players reach the professional level, many have already reached their dream.  I don't think they play with quite the same oomph when they are already standing on the mountain top.  Heck, if you're already perched at the pinnacle, there's nothing more to reach for besides getting your contract renewed.  That's when pro players begin to do stupid things.  Like ride a motorcycle not wearing a helmet and wreck it (Ben Roethlisburger).  And chase women (Ben Roethelisburger).  And say stupid things about Tim Tebow (You Haters, you know who you are).

But Eloise will come ready to party in her fan gear despite the fact that neither of my favorite teams are playing.  I wasn't feeling it from the Steelers all year, so none of us were surprised when they didn't get their shot at another ring for a second year in a row.  I think everyone was shocked that the Pack would not be back.  My born and raised Wiconsonian brother-in-law and my nephew are still recovering from the shock of the green and gold not making an appearance this year.  But we party on just the same.  We'll still gather at their house for a pre-game feast of not-so-good-for-you food.  I'm bringing the football strawberries on the picture movie.  Quick, easy, and somewhat healthy.

The movie on this weekend's post is set to Tim McGraw's Touchdown Jesus from his newly released Emotional Traffic CD.  I knew a few weeks ago that I'd be using this song.  The biggest bummer of all is that Tim Tebow wasn't going to be playing in it.  How perfect would that have been?  Slovenians, if you are not familiar with the player, Tim Tebow is the Evangelical Christian quarterback for the Denver Broncos who became more well known for his prayer position, now referred to as tebowing, than for his playing positions.  Tim battled some injuries this season and like life, his games and stats represented some ups and downs.  Tebow played the best game of his pro career against the Steelers knocking my home state faves out of a chance for more ring bling.

Tim Tebow was famous for putting Bible verses on his face paint while playing college ball for Florida.  He often used the versed central to Christians, John 3:16.  It reads:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

God works in amazing ways through numbers.  I've always believed that and it is reinforced for me more every day.  In fact, it was during the Broncos vs. Steelers game--an overtime thriller that ended with Tim throwing an 80 yard touchdown pass to clinch the win, that numbers said it all.  Tim Tebow's pass average for that game ended up to be 31.6 yards per completion.  Just dumb luck?  No way.  God spoke.  Did you hear him?

After that game, even after the defeat of my sorry@$$ team, Eloise held no grudges.  Me, and so it seemed many I talked to, were hoping for a Tebow miracle of sorts.  Denver was not as likely as other teams to make it to the Super Bowl, but many people I believe were silently rooting for him as they went against the Patriots to get yet another step closer.  But alas, the game was a disappointment for Broncos fans.  One of my favorite students even admitted he fell asleep in the end.  No miracles on that game, but we still gained a message.

Tim Tebow played hurt through the second half of the game--and not just a sprained pinky.  According to the ESPN website it was reported:   "At the start of the third quarter, Tebow tore cartilage on his first rib where it attaches to his sternum, bruised his lung and had fluid buildup in his pleural cavity, an NFL source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

OUCH! Says Eloise!

But what did Tim Tebow have to say about his performance in the game the whole world was watching, it seemed?  He said this, as quoted again on the ESPN website:

TebowI just wanted to show character. You just continue to fight and it doesn't change who you are, how you play, how you go out there, you should be the same at all times. ... It didn't matter if it was the first play or the last play or you were down by 42
-- Tim Tebow

Nicely put, Tim!  No miracle (other the fact that you could play through that kind of pain), but lesson learned.  You stand, or kneel rather, as an example to all of us.  
There just isn't the same excitement in my region of the country for this Super Bowl when compared to the one last year.  When the home team isn't making an appearance, we watch, but with far less passion.  But that doesn't mean it's not going to be a good one.  We have to tune in and watch for the story.  Every game, just like every person, has a story.  Skies have a story, too.  Did you know that?  I watch them every day for something spectacular.  In fact, one evening this week, the February sky looked pretty much like this:

 And this.  Pretty boring.  Leafless trees and grape vines.  Gray skies.  Blah. 

Then, I spotted it.  See that tiny spot of orange in the middle of this snapshot.  I was on the way home from taking the girls to dance class.  I sped down the road (don't rat me out, Fitzgerald) to grab my camera.  "Going to grab a shot of the sky!  Be right back!" I shouted in the door."

"What sky?" was the muffled response from the next room.
"The one I KNOW is going to be spectacular," I said.
 And look what happened.  (It uploads strange with a formatting problem, but keep scrolling).












 You know what that spells, Readers?


Forever Your Cheerleader,

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