Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Pep Rally
Last weekend I attended the Alabama/LSU game in Tuscaloosa, one of the most amazing football games I have ever seen.  The atmosphere was unbelievable.  We arrived Thursday night, two nights before the game.  ESPN's College Gameday was on the scene with thousands (literally) of fans already in town.  I've never seen anything like it.  Everywhere we went were college football fans. Even our favorite breakfast spot, Rama Jama's, was  standing room only.  Which is interesting since it's not really the food that draws the crowds, but that's another blog.  Friday night we attended the Pep Rally outside Bryant-Denny Stadium on the Walk of Champions, and it too was amazing.  A huge crowd, The Million Dollar Band, cheerleaders, former players, even ESPN was cutting into it's regular programming and showing all of us getting pumped up for the game.  Again, it was unlike anything I have ever been a part of.  Sadly, my Blackberry photo above does not begin to really capture the atmosphere.

Recruits on the Bama Sideline
Finally, Saturday night arrived and we headed into the Stadium two hours before kick-off.  One hour before kick-off the stadium was full and loud, very, very loud.  It was impressive to say the least.  I was looking at roughly 101,000 football fans, most of them decked out in Crimson and White, a few missed the memo and for some reason came dressed in Purple and Yellow, but since they had a ticket we let them in too.  There were marching bands, cheerleaders, coaches, players and recruits, more recruits than I have ever seen at a football game.  It was unbelievable, and I guess to be expected when the number one and number two rated teams in the nation play each other.  But it's hard for me to imagine how anyone could grasp the enormity of the event watching on television.  As the old expression goes, I guess you had to be there.  I'm really glad I was.

In the last couple of days I've been thinking about things that unite us.  College football is certainly one, at least among teams.  When I attend a college football game, there are many things I know.  I know how to dress, when to stand and cheer and when not to.  I know that in Tuscaloosa I would be lost without a shaker.  I know the words to the cheers, what food I could expect to find, and I really look forward to it by the way.  I know to bring my radio and what station to tune in to for the play by play.  I even know most of the rules of the game.  But what I don't know are many of the people.  I'm guessing in that large crowd, I knew less than forty people.  It doesn't stop me from attending, dressing in my teams color's or standing for hours yelling my head off.  In fact, since I get to do it less than a dozen times a year, it's something I really look forward to.

It's also convicting.  As a follower of Christ, I'm also united with more people than I can count.  I know many of them, but there are certainly millions I don't.   I often wonder what this place would be like if millions of Christ followers were as passionate about Christ, as myself and the other 100,999 college football fans in Tuscaloosa were about football last Saturday night.  If I haven't lost you already, please don't go now.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving the game of college football.  Also, I know there are many, many followers of Christ that are more passionate about being a follower of Christ than about being a follower of college football.  But for me, certainly my passion of football is often more obvious to a stranger than my passion for Christ.  I'm working on me.  Sometimes it helps me to think out loud.  Thanks for listening.

Mark 12:30-31
New Living Translation (NLT)
30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] No other commandment is greater than these.”
I'll see you on down the path.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic description! It was an awesome thing and I'm so glad you were here.

    And I working on the same things you are - thanks for putting it into words.