Player runs over teammate, changes life

Although this story is from Dec. 22, we’re making it the story of the day. (Or since we only update about twice a week, it’s the story of the half week…) It’s a great story about Ryan Woolley, now a UAB pitcher who went through some incredibly rough times after nearly killing a teammate. What I really like about the story is how it gets past a lot of the clichés that we Christians tend to use and just gets into a nuts and bolts story about how Wooley got on his knees in a jail cell and got in touch with God. It’s a long read but worth the time. Thanks to Rena Ball for finding and sending in.

Tony Richardson
As I watch this, the Jets and Colts are going toe-to-toe. One of the reasons the Jets are even in this game, is because of running back Tony Richardson. He’s one of the unsung workhorses of the NFL and devout about his faith. This is the closest he’s come to a Super Bowl, having played in 218 games over 15 seasons for three teams. (Yes, I know Colts won!)

Rams kicker
This story, about a player who certainly isn’t playing today because his team was horribl is a nice story because it shows that often, we find God in the valleys of life vs. the pinnacles.

Outfielder turned priest
The Oakland A’s top prospect, the MVP of the Arizona Fall League, has said adios to baseball and hello to the priesthood. Here’s an interesting story/editorial from about Desme’s decision from Catholic Online. According to this MLB.com story, he’s not the first baseball player to follow God’s leading, but the story doesn’t mention Billy Sunday or Bobby Richardson.

Longhorns
Well, after I received these stories, I felt almost guilty having pulled for the Crimson Tide in the National Championship game aka The Rose Bowl. This story, about a number of the Longhorn’s Christian players, made my heart warm. This one, about Colt McCoy winning the FCA’s Bobby Bowden award, was nice as well and has a video.

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Basketball Wednesday and how my iPhone saved my life

It’s basketball Tuesday and there are several inspirational stories going up. Big thanks to Rena Ball who pointed out several stories to me that are listed and round out this little edition.

Tierra Rogers
University of California women’s basketball player had her dream halted, but she realizes God is in control.

Jeremy Lin
This story busts several stereotypes, but I’ll let you read it and figure them out for yourself. Here’s what Harvard’s Jeremy Lin  says: “But I’m really passionate about Christianity and helping others. There’s a beauty in seeing people change their lifestyles for the better.”

Potter’s House
This Florida Christian high school considers traveling to out of state tournaments to be a ministry of sorts.

Boxer turned wrestler
This former Mike Tyson opponent said has found his niche coaching high school wrestlers, but said the student’s Christian spirit originally drew him to the sport.

Tim Tebow
His college career is over, but Focus on the Family has paid big bucks to put him on the center stage for football’s biggest game.

iPhone
On a non-sports note, I really like my iPhone, but this guy took his to an all-new level. My battery would have never lasted that long though…  Make sure you read the last two paragraphs of this story, they’re my favorite part.

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NFL playoffs in high gear

Lots of Christians are squaring off today in the NFL. And please forgive me, I have a sarcastic side that doesn’t necessarily mesh with Proverbs. However, sometimes, as Christians, we will think that since we’re Mr. or Ms.  Goody Two Shoes, we should win the game. So, today, Drew Brees and Kurt Warner face off in the playoffs. Does that mean we’ll know who is the best Christian by who wins? 

If you want to read a story about Kurt Warner and his faith, simply put Kurt Warner and Christian in Google. There are plenty, or read one of his books about his faith.

This is a nice story about Brees.

Long time Baltimore Raven kicker Matt Stover will be kicking for Indianapolis. Ravens cut him, and Colts picked him up when Adam Vinatieri went down. He is THE reason that I’m pulling for the Colts and who they’re using in the playoffs. I like the idea of Stover picking up another Super Bowl ring and him stickin’ it to his old team, although he’s pretty grown-up about it. Here’s how he came to a stronger relationship with Christ.

 These aren’t the only Christians in the playoffs, but a few who jump to mind.

David Beckham
This will explain all about David, his faith and his tattoos, or maybe not

Tommie Harris
Here’s a blog posting about Tommie Harris that I found a tad judgmental. What do you think. Here’s a video of the punch it refers to.

C.J. Spiller
Here’s a nice story about Clemson’s CJ Spiller and how he watches his step locally because of his influence.

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Voice of Tigers nears end with class

This is about a sports legend who is near the end. My prayer for Ernie Harwell is that he’ll go easily into the night but time will tell,  and if we know anything about that beast called cancer, it’s not likely. This ESPN the Magazine piece is a great story that touches on the faith of the man. It isn’t a quick read, but is apt to bring a tear to your eye and is well worth the time spent.

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Urban Meyer incredibly thoughtless

Urban Meyer could be the most thoughtless man alive! This morning, I wrote the below with the intent of posting it tonite! What did ol’Urb do? Went and changes his mind. My gut instinct was to erase the below but I’d worked on it so why not  share. 

Meyer makes right decision
I’m a guy who works more than he should and tries to live my faith the best I can. I think that Urban Meyer, soon-to-be-former Florida head coach, made a GREAT decision that he’ll never regret. Reading this story in the New York Times confirmed this (Proves that God is capable of anything, if he can use the New York Times to confirm something). Meyer who has a daughter in college and two others at home said he told his family he would be leaving his job at Florida. He said that his 18-year-old daughter Nicki hugged him and said, “I get my daddy back.”  In the article, he said he’d found himself emailing recruits in church. Much like Carlos Dunlap Sr. in yesterday’s post, Meyer had this quote. “I have a strong faith that there’s a reason for everything, and God has a plan for us. I just don’t know what it is.”

From my perspective, for many who worship at the altar of college football, Meyer could have taught a great lesson if we’ll be smart enough to listen and learn. Put faith first, family, then self. If not, the end might not be pretty. Many people give this concept lip service but work relentless 60 to 80 hours per week. “I love my family but I work 70 hours per week,” doesn’t necessarily add up. Meyer, known as an offensive genius, now looks even smarter to me. He didn’t do lip service. He walked away from $4 million per year. Let’s just hope we can be smart enough to slow down and make sure our priorities are straight.

If you can’t get enough on Meyer’s stepping down, go to www.MrSec.com which always has the most complete SEC coverage.

So, now Urban is going to stay on and just take a leave of absence. All I can say now is I hope he’s doing the right thing for him, his family and his faith. As fans, we have a tendency to mouth off and say stuff. This might be one of those cases where we just want to say a little prayer for Meyer and his family as they try to sort through this.

Matt Barkley
USC’s freshman starting quarterback, Matt Barkley, ended the season the way he began it, performing well as the Trojans defeated Boston College 24-13 in the Emerald Bowl. He opened the season the same way with a big win against THE Ohio State University, then lost to Washington a week later. Later in the season, they dropped games to Oregon, Stanford and UCLA in a late-season swoon USC fans are not accustomed to. It’s a season that will pay dividends for awhile for the Trojans, as the 19-year-old learned a lot. However, there were plenty of bumps and bruises for the teenager who said his faith kept him going in this Sharing the Victory article.

C.J. Spiller
This Clemson running back and almost Heisman finalist (finished 6th in voting) said his faith sustains him in everything he does.

Matt Forte
Nice story in BPSports.net about the Bears running back. It’s amazing how players of faith keep popping up out there.

Nigerian soccer star
This soccer star has a nice perspective on his Maker.

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Actions preach louder than words

The theme for today’s first two stories should be actions. These two athletes are about their faith, but let their actions do the preaching. This is a terrific story, although it’s not blatantly Christian in the sense that there are Bible verses all over it and the athlete is talking about his relationship with Christ. However, LSU tackle Ciron Black’s actions are incredibly Christ like and there is a Bible verse in there. Enjoy it here.

USC kicker
We made sure we got this one up before tonight’s Emerald Bowl. Barely made it! This is an interesting story about Jordan Congdon, Southern Cal’s kicker, who lets his actions speak louder than his words. Nice story here.

Carlos Dunlap
“Sometimes the Lord has a calling on your life and you don’t know why. But things happen for a reason,” Carlos Dunlap Sr. said. Senior is of course the father of Junior, who didn’t get to play for Florida in the SEC Championship game due to a DUI arrest. Hopefully all of Senior’s words are accurate. If so, he’s got a good perspective on things. Check it out here.

Sam Hornish
This NASCAR driver works hard at keeping his faith at the forefront and doing the right, faith-driven thing, despite an incredibly busy and hectic lifestyle. Anther nice story from BP Sports.

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196 posts down and the fun keeps rolling

This is the 196th version of this site that’s been posted in some version or another. What shall we do for the 200th? Maybe if I can turn out a four more before New Year’s Eve, I’ll let them hold a big celebration in Times Square.

New book out
Tom Krattenmaker seems like a decent enough guy, but I vehemently disagree with him, from the excerpts and reviews I’ve read of his book. He just released a book, “Onward Christian Athletes” where it seems like he bashes athletes for expressing their faith. This AP article says he’s not bashing: “Krattenmaker isn’t asking pro athletes to stop talking about religion, just to be more sensitive in their tone and timing. He also sees a credibility-bruising selectivity in the theologically and politically conservative messages evangelicals in sports trumpet.” Another of his many contentions is that they don’t credit God when they lose. Now, I’m not a media expert, nor do I have as many degrees as Mr. Krattenmaker, however, there aren’t a lot of reporters knocking each other over to talk to the losers. It is two different scenarios. I’m not sure if Mr. Krattenmaker uses this term, or it’s the AP writer, but they keep calling the athletes religious. I don’t consider myself religious, but spiritual. My faith is part of my life, it’s part of who I am. Thus, if someone is interviewing me, hopefully that would come out. If a Muslin wants to pray five times a day, we ensure they have a quiet place to express their faith. If a Christian athlete scores a touchdown and kneels in the endzone, doesn’t he have the same right to express his faith?

However, why do we have to write these books criticizing how different Christians practices their faith? I’d guess Mr. Krattenmaker is a very decent guy, and in reality isn’t that diametrically opposed to those he writes about. Why the bashing? Let’s pray for each other vs. pointing out the speck in each other’s eyes. This article expresses a lot of  his views  (I think) and here’s his website, that isn’t updated a lot.

And I’m not saying Mr. Krattenmaker is the only one who does it (I just did it to some level). All extremes of faith do it, but I don’t think the Bible says that we’re supposed to go after each other when we disagree. The world might be a better place if we’d just shut up, practice our faith how we feel Biblically led and let our brother do the same. Why can’t we support each other vs. snarl and bash.. Sighhhh…Let me put my soapbox away now.

Gerald McCoy
The Oklahoma University defensive lineman has said his college career is over after the team’s bowl game. This story says the program will miss his athletic talent, but the city and team will miss his faith-based heart even more.

Tim Tebow
For the ultimate Tebow coverage, go to www.Tebowseyeblack.com. But I’m not trying to infringe on their turf, but this is a few things I pulled together from various blogs: Bulls forward and former Gator Joakim Noah says that Timmy T could play basketball if he wanted to, due to his character. And the TimTeblog points out that amidst prepping for bowls and such, Timmy T is also graduating this weekend. What a role model! Afterwards, he’ll run to a phone booth, put on his Superman outfit and go flying off. And lastly, an image of Tebow in action will grace the walls of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum in Orlando. What makes the image special is it was made with tiny BBs comprised of 5 colors, red, green, blue, black and white. Remember, he wears an orange helmet. Check the link out.

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