Friday, February 12, 2016

Sportmanship, the Bible and Current Events

This past Sunday, the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24 to 10 in football's "Super Bowl". One of the prime follow-up topics of the sports news was losing quarterback Cam Newton's sullen reaction in a press conference shortly after the game.

Later in defending his actions, the Panthers quarterback said, “You show me a good loser and I’m going to show you a loser." For some this seems to be the philosophical statement of the year. He followed this saying "It's not a popularity contest. I'm here to win football games."

Yes, the concept of football is to win the game. There's no trophy for losing. (Paul acknowledges this in 1 Corinthians 9:24) Those who lose will not be happy with the outcome. But there is a difference between not wanting to or liking to lose and acting like a spoiled brat after losing.

Newton said, "You show me a good loser and I’m going to show you a loser." He could have just as truthfully said, "You show me a bad loser and I’m going to show you a loser" or "You show me a loser and I’m going to show you a loser." A loser is a loser is a loser, regardless of how he acts. Most of the season Newton and the Panthers have been winners. They won more than any other team. But in the big game on Sunday February 7, 2016 they were losers. Beaten badly by the Broncos. Fact. Actions, good or bad, won't change that.

Other comments by Newton challenge the concept of being gracious and magnanimous in losing. "The truth of the matter is, who are you to say your way is right? That's what I don't understand. We've got all these people condemning, and saying he shouldn't have done this, that and the third. What makes your way right?"

Yes, what does make "your way" (being a good loser) right? Well, if you're a Christian, here are some good starters (if you're not, I don't know what to tell you).

1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things...
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

By the way, winners ought to be gracious and magnanimous as well! (E.g. Proverbs 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth...)

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