I’ve told my kids from time to time over the past 20 years that life is like football. Since I’ve coached football, basketball, baseball, softball, & track in high schools since 1989, I thought I might take this time to expound on the idea and bring some clarity to the subject, as best I can. But to narrow the topic a little better, I thought I would focus on the analogy;
The Godly family is like a championship football team.
Our Loving Father is, of course, the Owner. Duh, right? I hope you easily agree here, or you might as well stop reading this blog since we disagree of this basic premise and you might get increasingly frustrated. Kind of like a Lamar Hunt if we’re talking about the 1969-70 Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. I mean, we might as well talk about them since we can’t watch the current Chiefs right now.
The head coach would be the husband, calling the plays and moving the team across the uncharted territory conquering yard after yard. And hopefully scoring sometimes. That would be the Hank Stram of our organization, if you will. Sometimes I would have to occasionally yell to my kids when they were little, “65 Toss Power Trap,” to score the next touchdown, after which they would just do the blank stare at me with complete confusion all over their faces.
GO CHIEFS !!!
Let me “matriculate” further, in the number two position would be the wife, my defensive coordinator. She does a lot of things for our team that is her half of our team’s success, and doesn’t need any help from me. I would also give her a name from the Super Bowl Champions from those early years, but I don’t think the Chiefs had a defensive coordinator in those days. Just a bunch of coaches under Stram, and they probably did most of the coaching, actually.
“The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.” John Madden
And on those tough fourth downs when we only need just a half a yard for the first down, I would go to my wife and talk over the situation of whether we should punt the ball or not. “How does the defense look to you right now, coach? Can we get a stop out of them if we don’t get this first down? Are your players pretty tired? What do you think, coach?” This is a pretty important conversation where communication lines are fully open and a great understanding and appreciation is between us. Hopefully even some mutual love and respect are evident. And then the head coach makes the call. Win or lose that game, it’s on the head coach.
The assistant coaches of the team are also present doing some of the relational stuff for our players. Maybe the pastor of your church, a youth leader, or other men and women from the Body doing some coaching of your players. Maybe even an uncle or aunt or a grandparent that lives in the area could be giving some good coaching advice to your players. All essential components to a contending, play-off bound team.
“Winning isn’t everything, wanting to win is.” Vince Lombardi
Now, here are the players. The quarterback is your first born, probably. Or in my case, I think I have two quarterbacks on my team since my first born is a girl and the second was a boy. I know, kind of weird. But they both have the competitive edge that is necessary, plus the brains behind deciding who gets the ball on some plays, always with the head coach’s permission to call the audible at the line, if needed. Kind of like the great, Lenny Dawson, one of the greatest QBs of all time, in many eyes.
The running backs of the family are the tough ones, where they can take a beating and still make it back to the huddle to get the next play. Wide receivers are the ones that are courageous enough to get up in the air to make that catch, all the while knowing they are about to get pancaked by a d-back. These players always think that you should get them the ball, but there’s just one ball to go around. They sure think a lot of themselves, and maybe they should. And both of these types sure like a party and love to celebrate in the end zone when they get it right. They would go on dancing for hours if the referees would let them.
“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” Joe Namath
Offensive linemen are mostly the quiet ones, comparatively, where they just carry the big load of marching the team down the field. These children have no need of much attention, and are great protectors of the family. The entire defensive side of the family might be able to be grouped together as players that really know how to adjust. These children can react and respond so quickly to unexpected events that it seems like they knew what was going to happen before it happened.
To wrap up this big, beautiful family are the cheerleaders on the sideline. Friends, cousins, and maybe even some of the Bible study members that your player hangs with is a support system that helps this team win. Maybe even a pet, like the dog, Skip, would be a part of all these cheerleaders that play a role in this wonderful family.
Whatever position you hold on your team, do your part and do it well. Be the best running back or lineman in the league. Maybe you’ll be in the Hall-of-Fame someday and over the next few generations the whole league will talk about your glory days and how good you were. But above all, make your team Owner proud of all that you say and do. It’s His team.