Posts belonging to Category Sports

Focus on the Family’s Pro-Life Ad with Tim Tebow

Focus on the Family’s 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring 2007 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow is stirring up attention all over the place — and it hasn’t even aired yet! Focus on the Family Vice President for Pastoral Ministries H.B. London shares the inside scoop:

Would you believe all the commotion and publicity the 30-second Super Bowl® ad sponsored by Focus on the Family has received?

By our estimates — and they are pretty accurate — the pre-Super Bowl hype of the “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad has registered to date 2,265,490,170 impressions. That is “billion” with a “B.” Amazing!

The interesting thing about all of this is that no one in the media has seen the ad. And, unless there is a big leak before Sunday, no one will see it until it is shown during the Super Bowl pre-game show and the first quarter of the game itself.

Another interesting phenomenon is that, even those in the liberal media who have opposed us before — and disagree even now with most of what we stand for at Focus on the Family — are defending our right to run the Super Bowl ad.

On February 2, 2010, The Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins wrote, “I’m pro-choice and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the ‘National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women all the time’ (referring to the group NOW). They aren’t actually ‘pro-choice’ so much as they are pro-abortion.”

She continues, “If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.”

Interestingly enough — a little inside stuff here — our Super Bowl ad never mentions abortion. Also, as we have reported in other columns, not one dollar was spent from our regular operating expenses at Focus on the Family to underwrite the cost of the “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” ad.

You can read the Sally Jenkins article mentioned here: Tebow’s Super Bowl ad isn’t intolerant; its critics are. And don’t forget to watch for the commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday. It will air twice: once during the pre-game show and then again during the first quarter.

Softball Pics – 4/28/2009

Church Softball 2009 | 1

Yep, that’s me just beating the throw into home at church softball last week. Why didn’t I slide? Because I’m a wimp.

Church Softball 2009 | 2

Curt Schilling Retires

Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced his retirement earlier this week after 23 years of playing professional baseball. On his blog Monday he offered “two special thank you’s”:

To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for granting me the ability to step between the lines for 23 years and compete against the best players in the world.

To my wife Shonda and my 4 children, Gehrig, Gabriella, Grant and Garrison for sacrificing their lives and allowing baseball to be mine while I played. Without their unquestioned support I would not have been able to do what I did, or enjoy the life, and I am hopefully going to live long enough to repay them as much as a Father and Husband can.

Thank you and God Bless
Curt Schilling

Congratulations, Curt, on a great career, and may God bless you in your next steps. (Note: You can read more about Curt’s Christian faith here. )

The No-Stats Basketball All-Star

I enjoyed reading this article about Houston Rockets basketball player Shane Battier. Although he doesn’t have the stats to prove it, apparently when Battier is on the court, his own team plays significantly better and the opposing team plays worse.

Here we have a basketball mystery: a player is widely regarded inside the N.B.A. as, at best, a replaceable cog in a machine driven by superstars. And yet every team he has ever played on has acquired some magical ability to win …

Battier’s game is a weird combination of obvious weaknesses and nearly invisible strengths. When he is on the court, his teammates get better, often a lot better, and his opponents get worse — often a lot worse. He may not grab huge numbers of rebounds, but he has an uncanny ability to improve his teammates’ rebounding. He doesn’t shoot much, but when he does, he takes only the most efficient shots. He also has a knack for getting the ball to teammates who are in a position to do the same, and he commits few turnovers. On defense, although he routinely guards the N.B.A.’s most prolific scorers, he significantly ­reduces their shooting percentages. At the same time he somehow improves the defensive efficiency of his teammates — probably, Morey surmises, by helping them out in all sorts of subtle ways.

“I call him Lego,” Morey says. “When he’s on the court, all the pieces start to fit together. And everything that leads to winning that you can get to through intellect instead of innate ability, Shane excels in. I’ll bet he’s in the hundredth percentile of every category.”

Battier reminds me of the many people in church situations who serve quietly behind the scenes. Because they are not up front, you may not notice them a lot; but the whole church runs more smoothly as a result of their service.

Hank Aaron Cartoon (Steroids)

This is a good cartoon.

Hank Aaron Cartoon

When Missing Your Free Throws is a Good Thing

Here is a great feel-good story out of Milwaukee:

Milwaukee Madison senior Johntell Franklin, who lost his mother, Carlitha, to cancer on Saturday, Feb. 7, decided he wanted to play in that night’s game against DeKalb (Ill.) High School after previously indicating he would sit out.

He arrived at the gym in the second quarter, but Franklin’s name was not in the scorebook because his coach, Aaron Womack Jr., didn’t expect him to be there.

Rules dictated Womack would have to be assessed a technical, but he was prepared to put Franklin in the game anyway. DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman and his players knew of the situation, and told the referees they did not want the call.

The referees had no choice. But Rohlman did.

“I gathered my kids and said, ‘Who wants to take these free throws?'” Rohlman said, recounting the game to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Darius McNeal put up his hand. I said, ‘You realize you’re going to miss, right?’ He nodded his head.”

McNeal, a senior point guard, went to the line. The Milwaukee Madison players stayed by their bench, waiting for the free throws. Instead of seeing the ball go through the net, they saw the ball on the court, rolling over the end line.

“I turned around and saw the ref pick up the ball and hand it back to the player,” Womack said in the Journal Sentinel. “And then [McNeal] did the same thing again.”

Said Rohlman: “Darius set up for a regular free throw, but he only shot it two or three feet in front of him. It bounced once or twice and just rolled past the basket.”

“I did it for the guy who lost his mom,” McNeal told the newspaper. “It was the right thing to do.”

Update: Here is the video report (length: 6:24).

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C. J. Mahaney on Michael Phelps

C. J. Mahaney offers some wise reflections on Michael Phelps, marijuana, and rest for restless souls.

The photograph of Phelps reminds me of myself prior to conversion, a competitive swimmer (of slightly lesser skill), a sinner (of greater degree), held captive by sin, pursuing the fleeting pleasures of this world. And sadly, in my case, pursuing sin with passion. So what was Phelps searching for in that bong pipe? What emptiness in his soul was he trying to satisfy? …

This is what I find so striking: A man whose chest has been covered with gold medals, has achieved international fame, showered with awards, and blessed with an incomprehensible amount of money, still feels compelled to press his face to a bong.

It was Augustine who said that the soul is restless until it finds its rest in God. So true. Only God can satisfy the soul. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ provides forgiveness of sin, and therefore it is here in this gospel that we find rest for our restless souls.

Study the unflattering picture of Michael Phelps to be reminded of the deceitfulness of sin and the superficiality of fame and money. But also study the picture to be reminded of the message of Christ and him crucified for restless sinners like you, and me, and Michael Phelps.

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Football Coach Tony Dungy Retires

Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy announces his retirement.

Dungy, 53, told his staff and some players on Monday morning after taking a week to discuss his options with his wife, Lauren. He will be succeeded by associate head coach Jim Caldwell.

Dungy coached the Colts for seven seasons, including the 2006-07 season when he became the first African-American coach to win the Super Bowl. At the time, he said he was just as proud as being an evangelical coach in the big game as he was of making black history.

Dungy said he wanted to spend more time with his family in Tampa, where he coached for six seasons, and do more work in the community.

“I think I’ve got a responsibility to be home a little bit more, be available to my family a little bit more and do some things to help make our country better,” Dungy said. “I don’t know what that is right now, but we’ll see.”

I have really appreciated Tony Dungy’s testimony over the years. Whether winning or losing, he has shown a great attiude at all times and presented a strong testimony for Christ.

Related articles:

Another Garfield Monday – September

You know it’s Monday when …

Another Garfield Monday - September

the Monday night football game is pre-empted by a Gidget film festival.


Click on a month for more Garfield Mondays:  January, February, March,
    April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Click here for Real Life Garfield.
Click here for Garfield Monday Extra.

Check back the first Monday of each month for more Garfield Mondays.

Olympic Quick Takes – 8/23/2008

With the 2008 Olympics winding down, I thought I would go with an OLYMPIC THEME for this week’s Quick Takes.

Did You Know?

  • City officials fired 1,100 rain rockets Friday afternoon and evening to fend off any rain clouds before the Opening Ceremony. The rockets contained silver iodide to disperse rain and clouds before the event.
  • Ever wonder how they get the camera to follow the Olympic divers so perfectly from the diving board to the pool? It’s easy – they just drop the camera. Basic physics at work; Isaac Newton would be proud. (I dropped my wife’s camera once. It didn’t work out so well.)

Rick Phillips affirms Shawn Johnson’s graciousness in her second place finish for the women’s all-around. “She’s only spent her whole life dreaming of winning that gold medal. Then she comes in second to her roommate, Nastia Liukin. During all of the interviews she conducted herself with cheerful dignity and grace. In particular, she clearly recognized that it was Liukin’s night to shine and did everything possible to make it a dream night for her friend. She didn’t talk about herself, she didn’t talk about her disappointment, but only how proud she was of her deserving friend … I don’t know if she is a Christian or not, but she certainly has conducted herself in the way that Christians should.”

And, speaking of gymnastics, here are a couple quick takes from previous Olympic years.

First Perfect 10 in History (Video length: 0:51)

Nadia Comaneci’s 1976 Compulsory on the Uneven Bars was the first perfect 10 awarded in Olympic gymnastics. You will notice the scoreboard reads 1.00 instead of 10.0. That’s because the scoreboards were not yet designed to display the number 10 (it had never happened before!).

Nadia Comeneci’s 1976 Uneven Bar Routine Perfect 10
(Video length: 0:40)


Nadia Comaneci’s 1976 All-Around Balance Beam Perfect 10
(Video length: 3:14)


And here is a neat performance from Olga Korbut in the 1972 Olympics.
(Video length: 0:40)

Derek Redmond and His Dad

I shared the following story about Olympic runner Derek Redmond in my sermon Sunday as an illustration of the Holy Spirit’s encouragement in the believer’s life. (“Encouraged by the Holy Spirit,” taken from Acts 9:31).

The Greek word for encouragement is “paraklesis.” It literally means “to be called to one’s side,” and so it is the picture of someone coming alongside you to give you help, comfort, encouragement and strength. Jesus used a related form of this word as a name for the Holy Spirit in John 14:16: “Parakletos,” which means “a helper, comforter, encourager or advocate.”

This story of Derek Redmond and his father is a beautiful illustration of someone coming alongside another to help and encourage.

(Video length: 3:21)

Derek Redmond was running in the 400-meter race in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He already held the British record in this event. In the previous Olympics he had been forced to withdraw 10 minutes before the race because of an Achilles tendon injury. Now four years later he was here, ready to compete, determined to win a medal in the 400. His father was in the stands watching.

During the semi-final heat, Redmond was only 175 meters away from the finish line, when his right hamstring suddenly popped and he fell to the ground. As all the other runners raced past him, Redmond knew that once again his Olympics dream had been snatched away from him. But Redmond was determined to finish the race, so he got back on his feet and started hobbling towards the finish line. He was in visible pain with each step, and it was unclear whether he could even make it.

Suddenly, his father gets out of his seat and jumps onto the track, running around the security guards, and comes alongside his son on the track. He puts his arm around his son’s waist and encourages him to keep going. And as 65,000 people in the stadium rise to their feet in applause, father and son make their way around the track to the finish line together. Redmond did not win his Olympic medal. But with the help of his father, he finished the race.

Video of 2008 Olympic Torch Lighting at Opening Ceremony in Beijing

NBC has been very protective of any online video of the Olympics this year. As fast as people can post the videos on YouTube, NBC keeps pulling them down. But you can see the official video of the lighting of the torch at NBC’s site. You will have to give them your zip code and cable provider in order to view the video, but no other personal information is required. If you like fireworks, you will definitely enjoy this video. (Remember, the Chinese invented fireworks!)

After you view the video, come on back here and leave a comment! Here is the link (opens in new window): Video of 2008 Olympic Torch Lighting at Opening Ceremony in Beijing