Friday, September 19, 2014

A Spleen Observation

Lord willing, our WCS football team will play its home opener tomorrow in a venue at Houston Baptist University! The longer I coach, the more I realize that boys and girls play sports for vastly different reasons with vastly different perspectives. What follows is a football story which my male students understand but which leaves my female pupils baffled. It is from September 27, 2006.

Chris Simms got hurt Sunday. Son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, the younger Simms plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the same position his father manned. During the second quarter of last weekend's contest versus the Carolina Panthers, Simms was tackled and injured. He kept playing and finished the game, a heartbreaking loss for Tampa Bay. Immediately afterwards, Simms was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for....a ruptured spleen. Teammates as well as the Panthers were shocked. Many stated they felt something was wrong with the Buccaneers' quarterback but no one could have guessed the extent of the damage. One Carolina player said he heard the Tampa Bay fans openly question Simms' toughness during the game but noted that now he would be considered the toughest guy in the NFL. Simms is expected to make a full recovery and resume his professional football career.

On Monday, I brought up the Chris Simms scenario, including the fact that ruptured spleens often cause internal bleeding into the stomach, in my fifth period sophomore Bible class. Not shockingly, the genders viewed the episode very differently. The girls unanimously believed that his playing with that injury was, and I will use their word, stupid. The boys viewed Simms' action as heroic and courageous. In the opinion of the gentlemen, he instantly increased his credibility with his team and because of his playing through excruciating pain, became a leader. The girls would not be budged; stupid. One of the kids asked me what I would have done and I stated that I hoped my response would have also been to play through the injury. The girls remained adamant that to do anything which could possibly put your life at risk is foolish. From a boy's perspective, physical bravery in a cause even as temporary as a football team, goes past admirable to valiant. It was a stalemate- neither side could perceive the other's point of view. I know where I stood but I also know which side my mother would have come down on. How can two groups looks at the same incident with such disparate viewpoints? It happens in our interpretations of Jesus. Paul writes in First Corinthians 1 that the cross is foolishness and a stumbling block to the non-believer but to those who have faith, the cross is power. It is meaningless to one group and the only truly meaningful symbol in the world to the other. Just like the young ladies in my class don't understand what Chris Simms did, neither does the world at large comprehend what Jesus did. I don't think those girls will ever be swayed but that is not my responsibility. My burden as a Christian is convincing the lost.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Everybody applauds him. We all saw what kind of fighter he is."
Michael Clayton/ Tampa Bay Buccaneer on teammate Chris Simms

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Kaitlyn said...

Hey Coach,
I also think there is a war between genders when it comes to opinion. Although I have to agree with the guys ons this one. It takes a lot of guts to do what Simms did, that was totally awsome. He is the kind of person that would make a great role model!!!

Love and God Bless,
Kaitlyn V. :)