For anyone who knows me, it is no secret that I grew up wanting to be the starting quarterback of the world champion, Dallas Cowboys. In case you have not heard, I did not make it.
I am now attaining an age where, I hope, I have some perspective. With that in mind, I relate to you that I have been observing quarterbacks, who have done well, and are between my age and older.
These guys are getting old. I do not mean necessarily chronologically, what I mean is physically. The game of football has taken an incredible toll on many of them.
John Elway has had one knee replaced. He is my age.
Joe Montana is four years older than me; he is severely limited physically because of a terrible back.
I remember reading that Johnny Unitas lived out the remaining years of his life with basically a dysfunctional right arm and hand–the consequence of arm damage sustained during his legendary football career.
These are just brief examples of men who have sustained physical trauma. While I did not enjoy the career they did, I can today get down on the floor with my eight-year-old son and wrestle with him. I can play full-court basketball with high school students and older, and I can climb mountains with my two teenage daughters on wilderness trek.
No, I never led a team to the Super Bowl and became famous. However, were I to take one of the books I read as a child that inspired me–GREAT QUARTERBACKS OFF THE NFL–to the high school Bible class I teach, I would be shocked to discover one student, who could identify even two of the ten quarterbacks profiled in that book. (The book includes quarterbacks such as Sammy Baugh, John Unitas, and Bart Starr.)
Joe Montana is a nebulous figure to this year's high school graduates. He won his fourth Super Bowl three years before they were born.
The longer I live, the more quarterbacks are added to the list of all time greats. That means the list of forgotten, great quarterbacks grows longer and longer.
All this to say, if I had fulfilled my dream, what would it have gotten me now? Perhaps, a body offering chronic pain, and a memory for fans fading faster than that photograph in the first BACK TO THE FUTURE movie. (I wonder how many people have forgotten that movie–or, are too young to have seen it?)
Maybe things worked out better after all.
Five Things I Think I Think (with a nod to Peter King for this idea)
1. Dare I pick Green Bay in the Super Bowl? Yes, I dare.
2. I have not heard one person say something positive about yesterday’s NFL Pro Bowl. I thought, at last, it would be put out of its misery. Then, I heard today that it boasted its highest TV rating in 11 years. So much for eliminating the Pro Bowl.
3. I have heard so much about FOX’s series—GLEE—that I decided to check it out from the public library. So far, I have only seen the pilot. Here’s what I think from the viewpoint of theological reflection:
Wouldn’t it be great if someone could take a conglomeration of misfits and, in the presence of the cool, the beautiful, and the powerful, produce beautiful music? One did.
God did. And the conglomeration of misfits is called the church.
Maybe a group of college Christians could band together and watch an episode each week to theologically reflect upon.
They could call it—Glee Club.
4. I bargained with my two oldest to get THE MISSILES OF OCTOBER from NETFLIX. We watched it Saturday. It was the third time I've seen it, and it has been years since I last watched it.
Haleigh and Abby were not thrilled—at first. Rather quickly, though, they warmed up to the movie.
Made in 1974, THE MISSILES OF OCTOBER boasts a stellar cast, and recounts the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. William Devane does the best job of any actor portraying JFK. 34-year-old Martin Sheen portrays Robert Kennedy.
The film intriguingly presents the crisis from both the Soviet and the U. S. points of view. Even though, we intuitively realized the planet is still here, my girls and I could not help but feel tension as the crisis persisted.
This is a great movie to watch with your teenagers.
5. Good for you, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I read the article about your fifteen years together and your continuing commitment to your marriage and family. May you enjoy decades more of happiness.