In All Things Physical, Stewart Johnson explores the world of sports, exercise, and active leisure.
Generally speaking, in the sports world one makes the news for a spectacular highlight or an abominable low light. An athlete either makes the “top ten” plays of the week, or the “not top ten.” There are other ways to make the news in the sports world, including Twitter antics, calling out opponents, drinking and driving, playing terribly while in a star studded relationship, and being named Lebron James. A good rule of thumb for athletes and coaches is to be in a highlight because if it’s anything else it’s probably going to be followed by a sincere apology.
Since college football can’t have “top ten” plays when the season hasn’t even started, most of the news being generated now is not good news. Coaches and athletes alike would likely prefer complete anonymity to stardom in this current state of affairs. Making the news recently were players committing violations, a coach resigning, an AD stepping down and a school being stripped of its national title. Not the best of company to keep.
In light of all this bad news coming from college football I do want to draw attention to an article I came across a few weeks ago about Georgia head football coach, Mark Richt. Coach Richt has been a wildly successful coach in his time at Georgia and has the contract to back it up. Recently, however, coach Richt, well noted as a follower of Christ, read the book “The Hole in our Gospel” by Richard Stearns and has been moved to view the possessions his success has amassed in a different light.
According to an article written by Chip Towers, Richt and his wife have put their $2 million lake house up for sale so they would not be hindered in giving to those in need. Interestingly though, some believe Richt to be preparing for what might be his last season as the Bulldogs head coach, since his success has waned over the past few years.
I cannot know for sure whether Mark Richt is preparing to be fired or has actually seen a “hole” in his Gospel that prompted this kind of response. I hope deeply for the latter because ultimately amassing possessions and physical treasures will do nothing to bring true and full joy. If Christ is not our treasure then it will be far easier to not see the mission He has called us to proclaim His gospel and provide for those in need. In the end, we can at least be happy that this news story didn’t have violations involved.