Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How to Lose the Superbowl

Given the title I'm resisting the very strong temptation to simply write, "Have Peyton Manning as your QB". But that would put Manning in Buffalo Bills territory and that would be unfair since he does have one of those big, shiny rings in his trophy room.

But let me say this about the Superbowl. "WOW, THAT WAS CRAZY!!!!" Did anyone see that coming? From the first snap Denver looked like they were still in a different time zone! The image of the ball sailing past Manning's head to start the game is one that will stick with me for a long time.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a Colts fan, that means I'm a Manning fan, and that means that on Sunday I was a Denver fan. He seems to be a man of tremendous character, and with a very dry sense of humour that I like. He has richly deserved all the league MVP's that he's won. His comeback from neck injury and a year out of the game is remarkable.

The Superbowl loss was certainly not all about Manning. Defense and special teams also had games to forget. The Broncos never gave a hint that they were going to compete in this game. It was extremely disappointing. Before the game Denver was actually the favourite, but they played like they wanted to win first pick in the draft!! This was the largest Superbowl blowout in 20+ years!

So, "How to lose the Superbowl?"

  1. Miss tackles. 
  2. Give the opponent points on the first play of the game.
  3. Miss tackles... and blocks.
  4. Let the opposition pressure the QB and tip passes.
  5. Miss tackles.
  6. Throw more interceptions than touchdowns.
  7. Did I mention, Miss tackles.
But there's another way to lose the Superbowl that Manning also aced. If you're going to lose, lose with grace. Did you catch this story, about Manning making the effort to come back and sign an autograph for a beer vendor and others at a time he surely just wanted to be alone. Or did you hear about how Richard Sherman, villain to Manning's halo in this game, described Peyton checking with him post game to see how serious the injury was?

If you're going to lose, that's how you lose a Superbowl. With your integrity intact.

In 2 Corinthians 8:2 Paul gives this description of some churches he'd visited, "Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts." (Message)

These churches found themselves with their backs against the wall, yet they didn't dwell on their own circumstances. Even in the middle of personal trial they wanted to serve and help others. It's easy to love our neighbours after we win our personal Superbowls, or life is breezy. Loving our neighbours when our circumstances suck requires a lot a character. Some people can do it because of their personality, most of us require the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to truly love others while dealing with our own personal hurt.

So thank you Peyton Manning. Not for losing, but for losing with grace.

Related Links:
  • A friend shared a similar blog post HERE. 

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