During the fall of the year, people’s allegiances to their favorite football teams can become fanatical. I believe that the body painting for Saturday games has become a whole different art form in itself. I remember when guys would just paint letters on their chests; now girls are getting into the act and it is not just letters any more. People are painting their heads and their entire bodies. Raider Nation, along with the Dog Pound and the Washington Hogs led the charge back in the 70’s, but now it seems everyone is getting into the act.
Here in the NE corner of Texas, the allegiances are mostly split between Univ. of Arkansas and Univ. of Texas. There are many Texas A&M fans as well. You will find a few Baylor fans along with Univ. of Oklahoma fans. Of course there are the LSU fans, Florida fans, and then other schools depending on where you grew up. Most of the smaller groups are not as radical in their display of the loyalties because they are outnumbered so badly. Of course, these groups are focused on the Saturday games each week. On Sundays it is a different story.
I am guilty of being committed to certain teams depending on what day of the week the games are played. I remember on one birthday my sister gave me a “Luv Ya Blue” t-shirt, which was the slogan for the Houston Oilers at that time. That tells you how long ago we are talking. I did not like the Oilers at all. I was (and am) a die-hard Cowboys fan. When I opened the shirt, I was visibly upset. I know that I am supposed to be gracious if someone gives me a gift, but this was NOT my team. I was thinking that I would not ever wear that shirt for no reason. She saw that I was upset, so she told me to turn the shirt over. On the back she had printed “Cowboy Blue.” I immediately was relieved and would then wear the shirt. Allegiances to our teams will create all kinds of emotions in our lives.
Why do I write about this today? We are getting to the end of the college football season and moving past the half way point of the pro season. I was contemplating the loyalties that we show to our favorite team and to what lengths we will go to make sure people know who we are rooting for. I wonder if we go to the same lengths to show the world WHOSE we are. Are we as loyal to our relationship with Christ as we are to our favorite football team? Then are we as loyal to our family?
Rooting for a certain team is not going to keep you out of heaven. If that were the case, I would certainly not be going I’m sure. Having hobbies of college football or even pro football is not a sin, in itself. What becomes the sin is when we are more loyal to our team than we are to our relationship with Christ. As I heard one commentator on the radio say, football in this area is a religion. You can see that by the number of people who attend the games on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. You can also see it by the amount of money schools (even High Schools) spend on their stadiums. I just wonder if we are willing to spend the same amount of energy on sharing our faith with someone else.
Joshua 24:15 (ESV)
15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”