Monthly Archives: December 2011

Renaming professional sports teams

While Northwest Rankin High School—from whence I graduated—was being built, I was among a lucky select number of high school students who were picked to help determine the high school colors and mascot for the future school. So much time has passed that I honestly don’t remember how influential my fellow students (of whom I can only remember three. There may have been more, but I only remember the three…possibly because they are female) and I were. I do remember we did not want to be anything similar to Pearl or Brandon (the schools from which most of the students for NWR would be drawn) and we didn’t want to be like Ole Miss or MSU. Those in the area know, of course, that we went with a Cougar and with Southern Miss colors.

All that is said to say I think it would be more interesting if professional athletic teams were to choose their mascots reflective of town history or even town (regional) personality. I realize there is a tiny instance of that now, but barely so much as to be noticeable. Therefore, I’d like to propose the following new names to be more representative of the communities they serve.

Boston WitchBurners

Atlanta Smokestacks (you non-history folks ask someone interested in history why this one makes sense)

NY Hurryups

NY Stuckups (they DO have two teams, y’know)

Minnesota Cheeseheads

Miami Crackheads

San Francisco Fruits & Nuts (okay, so 49ers worked, but not so much anymore)

Tennessee Hillbillies (Banjo-pickers is a close second)

Dallas Guntoters

New Orleans Crocodile Eaters (though “hunters” came in a close second)

Chicago Rumrunners (Mafia comes a close second)

LA Smogs

Houston Oilers (yeah—see, that one once made sense)

St. Louis Flood

Washington Liars (keep in mind this is DC, not the state!)

I could keep going, but I think it might be more interesting for any and all additional thoughts and suggestions to the list. No, I don’t expect anyone with enough clout to pay attention to this list, but it is fun putting together.

I’m sure I’ll have something more serious to say next week.

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Faith is more than just believing

I’m going to wax poetic about faith, Christians and Christianity in this blog…so if those things bother you, just come back next time, maybe I’ll write something to interest you then.

One of the things I’ve come to believe about faith is that it is more than just believing; it is an acting on belief in something many think un-provable. You may wonder what’s happened to cause this thought process. I’m glad you asked.

Having spent most of my life claiming to be a “Christian” only later realizing that I was just talking out of the side of my mouth, it has really started to bother me seeing so many people making the same claim I did for so long. Sounds hypocritical? Well, I’m not condemning those people, I’m just saying I think we’ve got a problem…and it may be that the traditional “what we have here is a failure to communicate” is, in fact, so true.

Before going on, let me demonstrate. I’m a black man. Can’t you tell that by my picture above? “What?” you say? “You’re so white you’re Swedish!” Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m trying to say. People may say they’re a Christian with their mouth, but when you look at them, you can clearly see it is not true! Meaning, there is nothing in their life to demonstrate they are a follower of Christ, which is what the term “Christian” means.

Let me put it like this: I have always “believed” in God, but I haven’t always acted upon that belief. I believed that He existed, but I never really made an effort to learn about what that belief meant. It wasn’t too terribly long ago when I realized the cliché “even Satan believes in God” was an incredibly profound statement. If we accept simple belief in God as the key to being a Christian, then it would be hard to deny that Satan is also a Christian because he obviously “believes” in God, right? I mean, if they are both real—as I believe they are—then that truth means they “believe” in the existence of the other. And since I don’t think anyone reading this is willing to accept that Satan is a “Christian,” it has to be something more than just belief, right?

IF that is the case, then what is it? Well, as Christians, we’re always looking at, pointing to and asking what would Jesus do, and so on and so forth. So I think that’s where we have to look, right? (A lot of this line of thinking, I feel, was brought on by my reading of CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity—wow! Great read!)

So, the main thing Jesus told his disciples was…follow me. I mean there are a lot of things he also said and probably people a lot smarter than me could list them all off in quick succession. But this goes back to my original thought: “faith” is more than just believing. If we claim to have faith, then the world needs to see us act on that faith, else it’s just words.

Words are powerful—I’m the first one to believe that! But action speaks louder than words.

Just sayin’.

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