Life isn’t a game but Alabama football is.

If you know anything about my family you know, there is only one sport as far as we are concerned. Seriously, I didn’t even realize the World Series was going on and I hate to admit it but, I missed last years too. The last time I watch a World Series was when the Royals was in it and well, of course, it was only because the Royals was in it.

I mean it is football season for goodness sakes, why is anyone playing baseball? But if you know my family you know it isn’t just any football team that we love. No, we only focus on one team, a team that has been supported by the Miller family for generations. The only football team that we pull for is the University of Alabama. My husband was born and raised there, and in Alabama, there is really only 2 teams and the love for them does not co-exist in one household, you are either a fan of Auburn or Alabama and to love one is to hate the other. It has been said that there is no greater rival between 2 teams than Alabama and Auburn.  So, needless to say, this Kansas born girl, knew that I too would have to love Alabama football when I married into this family. Our children were raised to love the team too! When they were little we would ask them “What does the dog say?” and they would bark like a dog. Then we would ask “What the cat say? and they would meow like a cat. Then we would ask “What does the elephant say” and they would yell “Roll Tide!” We have continued this tradition with the grands as well.

When the boys lived at home, they would sit around the television, with their dad each weekend,  watching the game. Following the game, my husband would pick up the phone and call his dad, where they would debate about the game, play by play. They would discuss how each player could have been played better. This was a bonding moment for Jeff and his father. Two years ago when Jeff’s dad passed away that all changed. Since our boys don’t live at home anymore, they have continued the tradition, although they may not be watching with dad in the same room we know they are sitting around a TV somewhere watching the game, and after the game, the phone will ring and now, Jeff the patriarch of the family, gives the advice and together they debate the games.

So, with the boys out of the house, I have now had to become Jeff’s game watching partner. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind it. But honestly, I never really have understood it all. I mean I get the basic’s, There is a ball, and some guys on the field and they run back and forth on the field and when they get the ball in their end zone they get some points, I get that. Although I do have to say when Jeff and I started dating, I played a little trick on him, He told me that he played football at his High School. So I asked, all innocently and with a twinkle in my eye “Does your team make a lot of home runs? ”  Jeff, looked at me shocked, unsure if I was serious or not and replied “Yeah”.  I am certain he walked away wondering ” What he had gotten himself into?” Well, I have come a long way since then. I know a little more now. So with the boys gone, I am have learned I kind of enjoy watching the sportscasters during the week discussing the stats for the games. See I am no longer the snack hostess for the big game day, as I was so many years when the boys were home and they had their game day. No, now I have moved into a full-fledged spectator and Jeff has learned to make his own cheese dip.

Another thing that I have realized that I enjoy is listening to the Nick Saban when he is interviewed by the press. See, Alabama being undefeated is No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches polls, and most recently was ranked No.2 in the college football rankings. In an interview last week on ESPN, he told the press, “I could care less about the poll,” Saban added “You won’t see me waste any time watching TV or who is 1 and who is 2. It doesn’t really matter. What really matters is how you play the rest of the season.”

 Those comments got me thinking………..Wouldn’t it be nice, if all the people who claim to follow Christ felt the same way?   What if they gave up worrying about the opinions of others. All too often as a follower of Christ but an inhabitant of this world, we get way to caught up in worrying about what other people think.
See, what I like about Nick is that he isn’t looking around him to see what the other coaches are trying to do so he can copy them and he doesn’t want his players listening to the comments about how good the team is. He recently compared the positive comments that the press was saying about the team, to rat poison.  See, Nick wants his team to stay focused on what is ahead, he knows this season isn’t over yet and if they get distracted they may miss something they need to do to defeat the next team. I believe what Saban wants from his team is for them to play 100% every game. You know, one of the things that I love about the tradition of Alabama football is they want to be the best and they expect the team to give 150% for the whole 90 or so minutes of that game every week. They expect the best and if they don’t get it, you won’t be playing on that team. What if we had that kind of commitment to God, What if we gave Him our all. What if we quit worrying about what everyone else is doing, saying and expecting of us and we just focused on His word and His will? See cause the truth is if we aren’t giving Him 150% then the truth is we really aren’t playing on God’s Team. The Bible tells us that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other….. ” Matt 6:24 And you know what verse 25 says, .”…do not worry….”. So how about we stop worrying about what others think, and we just live for God. Let’s give Him our all with what little time we have left in this game we call life because in the end it really isn’t a game so we need to get it right now and following Jesus is the only right way to live.
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