Practice? We’re Talking About Practice?

Photo: Brian Spurlock

Human beings have a lot of choice about how we are going to live.  Here in America people are guaranteed certain freedoms, and those freedoms when acted upon, largely determine the kind of life that a person will live.

You and I each have the freedom to do what we want, when we want to do it.  While we understand that how we choose to employ this personal liberty will play a role in what happens to us, we often forget that how we act upon our freedoms also plays a role in how others get to live their lives as well.

In short, we don’t get to pick what happens to us, we only get to pick our response to what happens to us.

Peyton Manning wanted to spend his entire professional career as the Quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts and he exercised his personal freedoms and responsibilities to that end.  In doing so he started 200 games for the team, amassing over 50,000 yards passing, a world championship and 4 League Most Valuable Player awards.

Today, Colt’s owner Jim Irsay fired Peyton Manning.

He didn’t want to, he had to.

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Saying Goodbye To Yesterday

Dan Powers

There’s been so much talk about “what might happen” with Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning that a lot of people didn’t realize that what they feared for Peyton was actually happening to Hines Ward.

Yesterday Hines Ward, the Pittsburgh Steeler’s all-time leading receiver got fired.

It wasn’t because the Steelers don’t like him, in fact people everywhere (Baltimore & Cincinnati excluded) seem to love Hines Ward.

Even on Dancing with the Stars.

While Ward isn’t necessarily the most graceful dancer, he has been an incredibly productive athlete.

Born in Korea to an African American Father and a Korean mother, the chances of becoming a Hall of Fame football player probably seemed slim for a child who never fit in anywhere, even after emigrating to the United States.

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Headed for Trouble

In the 15 years that I spent counseling families as a youth pastor I ran into a lot of commonly repeated parental statements.  By year three I could actually look at a parent and tell you what they were going to say to me before we sat down together.  By year 5 I had compiled a list of sentences that I had heard so often that I never wanted to hear them again.

“Sure, he can build a house in Mexico but can he clean up his own room?”

“Isn’t there something that can be done about these cliques?”

“He’s got no idea when homework’s due, but he knows when Halo II comes out!”

“She’s dating a guy just like her father/my ex-husband!” 

While those 15 years of parental frustration had a level of homogeny that would make Louis Pasteur rabid with envy, the most strikingly similar complaint came from mothers of middle school-aged boys.  I heard it early and often, and it sounded something like:

“I swear he doesn’t think before he does anything… He just does things on impulse, and is shocked by the results.”

After a while I was stunned to realize that mothers of boys didn’t understand that human males are born with very little impulse control, not that the fact isn’t on display early in life:

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