Archives For football

Sport Builds Bridges

March 26, 2015

Language study is one of the hardest and most time-consuming efforts missionaries make.

There is, however, a language which is common to the world and far easier to learn.

This is the language of sport.

When my family arrived in South Africa as lovers of sport, we missed a trip to the Super Bowl by my wife’s hometown team. At the time, we just did not know how to watch the game. Now I could tell you many ways.

Instead of watching the Super Bowl, in the early days our TV was tuned to cricket. I attempted to understand this game and its rules. Especially difficult was the idea of playing to a tie over five days.

I’ve seen how learning, watching, attending, and playing the local sports of a nation can build bridges and bond you to a culture.

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Yesterday, I was commenting on an article written by Jeff Goins about Joe Paterno. (Click here to see it). As the words flowed out of me, I realized I had something I needed to process about Joe Paterno’s fall from grace and recent death.  Here is my rambling.

I am a life long Penn State and Joe Paterno fan. My father went to Penn State. I have fond memories of trips to State College for college football games. Trips that were not complete without some ice cream from the Creamery, where they serve “Peachy Paterno” ice cream.

Joe was the ultimate good guy. His fall from grace cannot be underestimated among Pennsylvanians. (If you are not familiar with story, this article gives a good overview). A heavy heart does not describe the sense of loss.