Monday, October 1, 2007

Dropping the Ball

OK, so I am a big-time Georgia Bulldogs fan. My wife and I are alumni of the University of Georgia, and we buy season tickets to the football games each year. We spend a ton of money on the tickets, fan gear, food, and gassing up the car for each home game. We also spend a ridiculous amount of time tailgating, attending the games, and traveling from Kennesaw to Athens six or seven fall Saturdays each season. Needless to say, we have a vested interest in what happens "Between the Hedges" each week.

But, despite all the jack we spend and the precious time we sacrifice for our beloved Dawgs, I do not feel that it entitles us to "boo" players who may be having a tough time on the gridiron. Tripp Chandler (pictured), who is the starting Tight End for Georgia, has had a tough go of it through the first few games this season. Truth be told, he has dropped a dozen or so passes that were right on target. As a fan, I have gotten frustrated with his butter-finger tendencies. I have yelled at my TV screen. I have stomped on the ground. I have slapped my knee. But, I have not - and will not - "boo" a player.

I was rather embarrassed this past Saturday when thousands of UGA fans booed Tripp Chandler after he bobbled and dropped a pass that would have put the Bulldogs inside the 15 yard line during a first-half drive against Ole Miss. Chandler lay prone on the grass, discouraged and exasperated after disappointing not only his teammates, but 90,000+ fans who live and die by the scoreboard on Game Day.

I was quietly miffed at the dropped pass myself, but this feeling was quickly replaced by sympathy for the kid. And, I immediately thought how I'd feel if 90,000 people stood in my office and booed me for a typo, a blunder, or misstatement I might happen to make during the course of my work day. I'd probably want to lie face-down and not get up too!

The fact is we're all human. We don't always perform like superstars, no matter how hard we try and how much time we put in. We're flawed. And, there's no time where our flaws are brought into the open more than when we're "kicking a man while he's down."

Remember, God gave us a big-time break. He took the licks so we wouldn't need to. And, we've done much worse than bobbling the pigskin.

God's our biggest fan. In fact, He's a fanatic when it comes to how He feels about you. Even when we drop the ball.

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