As I said on Facebook: Yes, I’m sad. The Broncos lost their first game after a 17 regular season game winning streak. However, just as I am not responsible in any way for their loss, it reminded me that can take no credit when they win either. I am merely an observer. That’s all a fan can do. But then, why the emotion? It’s so stinkin’ fun to be the home town of a winning team! My heart goes out to… (oh, I won’t pick on any of my friends who feel like this every week, it’s not their fault either.) But I must say, if we HAD to lose, what better place to lose? It was moving to see the “enemy” stadium express such love and respect for OUR quarterback. And yet, “Luck” was on their side, and as much as they love the guy Denver has grown to admire, they wanted to see their new guy triumph over the old champion – and I gotta admit, as painful as it was to watch, I am happy for them. So we dry our tears here in Denver and look forward to seeing Peyton continue to amaze us as the season unfolds. So much for replacing 1972 however!
However, I had a few observations I wanted to note here on my blog:
- Peyton Manning is such a classy guy. He left Indianapolis is such a way, that when he returned as the opposing quarterback, the opposing team’s stadium was filled with opposing team’s fan wearing his jersey. Granted, they wanted their team to win – but they showed him honor and respect. How do you leave a ministry? Do you burn bridges? Or do you leave in such a way that if or when you cross paths again, you will be greeted with honor and respect?
- We do a lot to cheer on the work of God in our world and in our life – but there is another sense in which we are mere observers. When things don’t go our way – and we don’t want the blame for when things go poorly (and start to make excuses) it may be a reminder that we can’t take as much credit as we’d like for when things do go our way. There may be others and even just the will of God that made them go well. Humility is called for in both cases – success as well as failure.
- Everyone is making their opinions and predictions about Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I love listening to the “talking heads” on sports shows. My dad used to do a mimic of them when I was young that cracked me up. Instead of saying, “the other team was better today” or “we lost” – they always have to over-analyze and micro-criticize from their arm chairs. Which is easy to do, since they aren’t on the field. I named my new doggie after Theodore Roosevelt because he was a man who didn’t mince words and was a man of adventure. I just checked a children’s book about his life from the school library to read to my son so he would know why I chose that name. If you haven’t read his life – do it – it will amaze you. Guess what he said about critics? I love it:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I think Peyton and only player may laugh at the arm chair “experts” because they are the ones out in the field – and all we can do is watch, cheer, groan – celebrate or despair. But they get to play. And at the end of the day, win or lose – they are the ones who played. In life, are you playing or talking?