Friday, February 07, 2014

The Draft

Talk radio in Houston is buzzing about the Houston Texans and their pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Due to having the worst record in the league this season, the Texans will select # 1; they can pick ANY college player they choose. Clowney or Bridgewater? Manziel or Bortles?  On talk radio, everyone is an expert and all are anonymous on their phone line. When we talk in class about putting teams together, I ask why Jesus did not use his # 1 draft pick on the most logical choice, John the Baptist. The following is from April 24, 2006 when the home team had the same decision to make.

The countdown is on in Houston and the suspense is building. This Saturday marks the biggest day of the year for many residents of the Bayou City. Outsiders might ponder the source of the buzz. A mayoral election? A verdict in the nightmare that has been Enron? A new space shuttle launch? Some of these events may be closing in but none has the credentials as the big story. That will unfold on Saturday, April 28, as our Houston Texans make the first selection in the National Football League draft. The anticipation has grown for weeks as debates have raged over the wisest use of the draft position. Will the Texans trade the pick for a number of proven players on other teams, to address glaring weaknesses? Will they opt for the hometown hero, quarterback Vince Young from the University of Texas by way of Madison High School? Or will the choice be Heisman Trophy winner, Southern Cal's Reggie Bush? The consensus favors Bush but anything can happen. Purportedly Bush, through his agent, is seeking a $30 million dollar deal. The majority of Houstonians seem willing to let owner Bob McNair pony up the cash if Bush can help reverse the fortunes of the Reliant Stadium tenants. This brings us to the downside of Houston having the #1 pick out of all available players leaving college this year. It means the Texans had the worst record in the NFL. There is more football interest now than during last season's two win, fourteen loss campaign. The chant has begun...Wait 'til this year!

When you can pick anyone for your team, how do you determine the wisest use of the selection? With so much money invested, NFL teams pore over physical attributes, aptitude test scores, leadership skills, and character issues as they narrow their player wish list. It seems so scientific anymore with nothing left to chance. Every team's pick has a ripple effect on the remaining rounds of the draft. There will be shocks and surprises. Some players will shoot up the charts and some will drop for no apparent reason. There is even a title for the last young man chosen in each year's draft- Mr. Irrelevant. While given little chance to make the team that drafts him, the choice is at least awarded his brief moment of glory before, most likely, never having his name grace the sports' pages again. (Last year's recipient of the Mr. Irrelevant award was Andy Stokes from William Penn University in Iowa. Stokes was selected by the New England Patriots.) The draft, now a media extravaganza, will bring overwhelming happiness to some athletes and utter despair to others. Straining to hear their names over the ESPN telecast, some will find their careers effectively coming to an inglorious conclusion. It won't be pretty.

We teach little kids Bible facts through songs. My first Sunday school tune to commit to memory was the Apostles Song. Set to the melody of Jesus Loves Me, this classic opens with the line, "Jesus called them one by one." Like the Texans, Jesus assembled a team. Like the Texans, he had first pick. Okay, he didn't have any competition but he could have had any number of recruits hook up with his outfit. Two things stick out. The first is that he didn't go after what I would assume would have been the natural #1 choice, John the Baptist. JTB, as we refer to him in my Bible classes, would seem to have been an obvious pick, full of the current buzzword, UPSIDE. John was experienced, battle tested, ON FIRE, willing, and possessed his own huge following. But Jesus passed him over in favor of no-name fishermen, tax collectors, and revolutionaries. Secondly, Jesus bypassed the testing and screening process so vital to the NFL, as well as every modern industry. The Savior had his own screening process. He prayed. Jesus spent time with his Father, then conducted the draft and made the cut, all in one swoop. There were no contracts and no agents, zero interviews and no press conferences. He lost no one to free agency, fired no assistant coaches, and had no one retire. He took his twelve and went to work. Too bad we can't make it that simple today.

Applicable quote of the day:
"John the Baptist was supposed to point the way to the Christ. He was just the voice, not the Messiah. So, everybody's calling has dignity to it and God seems to know better than we do what is in us that needs to be called forth."
James Somerville

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Jon said...

Hoo do u think the Texans will choose???