Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Waste of Time and Money

Sports are an interesting phenomenon. They invoke such responses as deep as fanaticism to mild indifference to outright protest and disgust. It is amazing to think of the role sports plays in our society. The amount of money alone could probably end world hunger and find a cure for AIDS. But it think there is a reason for its importance that some may not consider. I can't answer why for everyone, but I have come to a conclusion as to why Sooner football is important to me. The epiphany came about a month ago in Norman, OK. On Nov 11, I met up with some good friends from college for a weekend of fun and football. The six of us are in similar paths on our spiritual journeys, and took time during the two and a half days to tell how we are different now than during our time at the university. One guy told us how a certain retreat center on a lake outside of town held some of his dearest memories, how it was a place of refuge and relaxation, and that he was grateful for those times. His story came back to mind after the 34-24 victory over Texas Tech. Savoring the win, we slowly walked through the stadium, reminiscing of the good old days. There I found why Sooner football is important. This stadium was my retreat center. Football, for some reason, escaped judgement among my spiritual community. Golf was deemed a waste of four good hours that could be spent praying or reading your bible. Music concerts were a waste of time AND money and indicative of a lack of commitment since we could somehow afford tickets but not conference registration fees. Yet football was sanctioned. We even sold parking spaces at the student center parking lot. I could attend the games and not feel shamed. I love hearing James Garner's voice saying, "This is Oklahoma Football" on the highlight reel. But mentally I add my own images to those of Billy Sims and Steve Owens. I see standing in the rain with Jeff Campbell in November, getting beat by Nebraska. I see trips to Dallas in October with Bruce, Greg and others. Splice in sitting on the pavement in Arrowhead Stadium parking lot with Chris and Kerry around a charcoal fire on Dec 02nd, savoring the win over Nebraska. This is my Oklahoma Football.


Strider said...

Wait, wait, wait.... if the stadium is the retreat center.... does that make Bob Stoops god?

Watchman said...


maybe not God, but something a little lower, say, apostole stoops.

yourplanispuny said...

As a guy who faced those same shame rationales and who spent a couple of football seasons selling those very parking spots on game days, I can totally relate. But I have good memories of the other retreat center too. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.