A Terrific Game

1 Dec

File:Alabama Crimson Tide Logo.svgWow. The SEC Championship football game between #2 ranked Alabama and #3 Georgia was incredible. I don’t normally write on this blog about sports, but this was a singular game. A place in the national championship game on the line, both teams left all their effort on the field. The first quarter ended scorless, as both teams probed the weaknesses of the opposing defense. But Georgia got on the board early in the second quarter and seemed to be in control early on. Late in the second quarter, however, Alabama began to establish the run. A 42 yard touchdown run tied the game. In the closing seconds of the opening half, Georgia threw an interception which led to a 22 yard Alabama field goal as time expired.

File:Georgia Football 2.pngA 10-7 halftime score would give way to an outpouring of offense in the second half. Alabama pounded the ball on the ground in the second half, racking up over 300 rushing yards for the game. But Georgia answered time after time. Georgia blocked a field goal which was returned for a touchdown. Late in the game, after doominating on the ground, Alabama hit a long touchdown pass to take a 32-28 lead. Georgia couldn’t get anything going in their next drive, but held Alabama and forced them to punt with a minute and change left in the game. Alabama had to punt and Georgia started on their own 15 yard line. Three plays into their drive they threw an apparent interception, but the interception was overruled because the ball hit the ground as the defender came down with it. Georgia regrouped and moved the ball down the field. Thirty four yards from the end zone with 30 seconds to go. A pass to the ten. Time is running out. Finally, a pass deflected is caught short of the end zone. Time expires. Alabama survives, winning 32-28. A game between two teams I really dislike but I found my heart pounding in the final seconds. This is what sports at its best is all about.

A few months ago I went to the symphony. The emotion at seeing a beautiful piece of music performed live was overwhelming. I had a similar sensation recently at watching a special theatre screening of To Kill a Mockingbird. I believe the image of God in us, though deeply marred by sin, still responds to excellence. When we see incredible performances in any field of endeavor, we are powerfully moved. These moments are a reminder that we are made for something more. Let these games, these performances, help you look forward to the world to come and do our best with the world in which we live.

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