Since football players are not afforded the normal opportunity to go to church, many attend chapel. Apparently this lad had not missed a chapel all season. While chapel is no substitute for worship with the body of Christ, this is all that many players get during the season. Apparently his coach Joe Gibbs feels he was a believer; recently people had also seen some sort of change in his life. While his death is certainly a tragedy, there is at least some small evidence that he might have found something more important than football.
Many football players interviewed expressed the fact that this death continued to reinforce this truth: what they do is not a matter of life or death. This is basically the standard athlete’s response to any tragedy. Football, coming straight from the horse’s mouth (or at least close enough-I guess the NFL would actually be the horse’s mouth) is not a matter of life or death.
Neither are sports in general, nor many things that keep us up at night (provided that you don’t think about death at night-in that case, check out Romans 8:38-39). It’s a shame athletes can belittle the importance of their teams performance during a season, but fans (including myself) have a much harder time taking hold of this thought. I mean its really kind of silly.
Let me give you another example. Yankees and Red Sox hate each other, right? Well their fans do. But Johnny Damon went straight from the Red Sox to the Yankees. We fans make a bigger deal out of sports than the athletes themselves. I think that’s kind of interesting, if not sad.