"The game of football is the most important thing and we can't lose focus on that."
Tomorrow I am scheduled to deliver a devotional to the players on our local high school football team, the West Brunswick Trojans. Earlier I was googling around for something for the devotional when I stumbled upon the quote above. According to an article at nbcsports.com, Roger Goodell said on the day he became the commissioner of the National Football League 14 months ago that the most important thing is the game of football.
I am a big football fan, but I certainly don't think "the game of football is the most important thing." I know some football fans so passionate about the game that I have sometimes wondered if football is the most important thing to them, but none would say this is the case even if it is. Goodell is the NFL commissioner and one would expect him to assign a high priority to the game of football. Yet I was still a bit surprised that even one in Goodell's postion would call the game of football the most important thing.
Maybe it is not so unusual for NFL big wigs to think football is supreme. A few days before the Super Bowl this year I read an article in which Tony Dungy, coach of the world champion Indianapolis Colts, relayed the story of an instance when he was being considered for another head coaching job while he was still a coordinator. During the interview Dungy says that he was asked, "If you get this job, is this going to be the most important thing in your life and are you going to treat my team as the very most important thing." Dungy says that he responded, "No, I'm not." He said that his Christian faith comes first and along with that his family. Football would not be the most important thing to him.
Dungy did not get the job.
I intend to encourage the young football players that I will address tomorrow to have priorities like Tony Dungy's rather than Roger Goodell's. Indeed, those are good priorities for us all, football players or not.