A Tale of Two Football Players
To be honest about this situation, it seems that the “expletive Trump” remark attributed to Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough was an isolated incident. It occurred as the team walked onto the field for the Georgia versus Alabama national championship game.
Sadly, this talented young man attempted to explain away his bad behavior with a lie. He later claimed he had said, “expletive Georgia!” Anyone who has seen and heard the video knows he was being untruthful about this. Rather than take responsibility and apologize for his disrespectful outburst, he chose to further embarrass himself, his family, his coaches, his fellow players and football fans by lying.
I say this was an isolated incident, because many of the players who were told that President Trump was going to attend the game were pleasantly surprised when they heard this news. Coach Saban’s own remarks were indicative of that sentiment. He said, “It would be an honor, whoever was in that position, if they chose to come to see the college football national championship game.”
Tua Tagovailoa thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “with whom all things are possible” for the victory. Contrast the poor impulse control of Bo Scarbrough with freshman, and substitute Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. This young man threw the game-winning touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith to win in overtime. The play that preceded the winning touchdown pass saw Tagovailoa take a nasty sack. But, it was what this young man said after the game that showed his character. In true Tim Tebow fashion, Tua Tagovailoa thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “with whom all things are possible” for the victory.
I doubt that the Almighty favors any particular sport, but I do know that 75% of all of the NFL quarterbacks today claim to be evangelical Christians, including Colin Kaepernick. Something else that is abundantly clear is that God loves football players, including Bo Scarbrough.
It is the contrast that I am emphasizing in this comparison. On the one hand, Mr. Scarbrough chose to make his moment in the sun about himself. He couldn’t stop his tongue from expressing what was in his heart. Something the Word of God makes very clear as the Messiah rebuked the self-righteous religious leaders saying, “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” Matt. 12:34. This means that our mouth is the audio playback for what we are thinking. His excuse that he was cursing at the opposing team doesn’t really help his case. Good sportsmanship should be exhibited at all times.
Tagovailoa took his 15 minutes of fame to glorify the One he believed gave him the talent to play the game of football. Compare this with Mr. Tagovailoa. He took his 15 minutes of fame to glorify the One he believed gave him the talent to play the game of football. Out of the abundance of his heart his mouth glorified the God who created him. I don’t want anyone to misunderstand. Young people are apt to say and do some dumb stuff. It looks like Bo Scourbrough will be a future NFL player. As a freshman backup quarterback, the fate of Tua Tagovailoa is less certain. Perhaps he will distinguish himself on the football field enough to become another evangelical quarterback in the NFL, but nothing is for certain. What we do know is that believers have their security and significance in the Lord, not in themselves or what they might accomplish in life.
CSI usually does not get involved in politics, but this is what many would call a teachable moment. We pray that Bo Scourbrough will learn from this experience. Hopefully, he will do just that and find forgiveness and a godly meaning and purpose for his life. For those who doubt that raising children up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord will bear fruit, look no further than Tua Tagovailoa. A young man who, because he gave his life to Christ, has become wise beyond his years and a stellar witness for his faith.
Please remember the mission of CSI. We stand in the gap for those who are being deceived by the lies of the world, the flesh and the Devil. We understand what is at stake when the teaching of evolution blinds people to their need for the Savior. Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can transform sinners into saints.
Submitted by Pastor Steven Rowitt, Ph.D.