The Hypocritical NFL Concussion Debate

1380735124000-nfl-concussionsLast weekend, before the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton Ohio, there was a big flap over Junior Seau’s posthumous induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.  Seau, a middle linebacker for the SanDiego Chargers, took his life on May 2, 2012 amid speculation that he was troubled by brain damage due to CTE, a condition traced to concussion-related brain damage with depression as a symptom.  After submitting Seau’s brain for study, the family sued the NFL over the brain injuries suffered over his career, claiming that NFL does not provide enough information and protection for its players.

In so many ways, the whole concussion controversy that is currently dogging the NFL is hypocritical all the way round. Let’s face it. Football is an incredibly violent game. We cannot dispute that fact. So, concussions and injuries are going to occur. There are a number of things the league can do to lessen the violence and protect players, but the nature of the game itself is violent, and that’s not going to change, unless we get rid of helmets, eliminate tackling, and put the players in flag belts.  As those in rugby, boxing, rock climbing, and skydiving – Junior Seau new the risks of playing the sport he loved. Did it lead to his death? Probably so. Should the league recognize that fact about the game? Yes. Should the league be held responsible for Seau’s death. Absolutley not.  I wish Seau’s family all the best.  May Junior Seau rest in peace.  However, to sue the NFL for what is obvious to all is hypocritical and duplicitous.

We all – players, families, owners, and fans – must face the reality that professional football is an incredibly violent game. That’s why America loves it.  Injuries are going to happen.  Concussions cannot be avoided.  In the NFL, fans know that they are watching action, danger, and intrigue – without CGI or special effects. Fans are watching a group of men who are paid large amounts of money to put their lives on the line to win a game… and America finds it exhilirating. Is that a good thing? I can’t say. But I can say, that the NFL reflects who we are as a country. There is a reason that the British love tennis and cricket while we love football, mixed martial arts, and action movies like Mad Max and Terminator.  So, concussions and injuries be hanged. After the last professional football game is played in February, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, fans know the NFL will say with a wry smile, “I’ll be back.”  And the NFL knows that America will be waiting with open arms.

Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.20.34 AMSo, for the NFL football fans out there, what is your Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments.  By “Moments”, I mean those seconds in time that are etched in our national sports consciousness and still remembered today.  By “Football”, I mean those moments that are directly related to the game, not the media or entertainment related events.  I’ll post a Top 10 on that at a later date.  At any rate, these are my Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments.
____________________ Continue reading Top 10 Superbowl Football Moments

Jesus, Help me to do no Harm

DO NO HARMOn June 21, 2015, after admitting to an extra-marital sexual relationship, Rev. Tullian Tchividjian announced his resignation as senior pastor of Coral Ridge PCA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  This was devastating news for me.  Over a number of years, Tullian’s teaching, along with Paul Tripp, Ray Cortese, John Frame, J.D. Greear, Matt Chandler, Joe Novenson, Tim Keller, John Piper, Scotty Smith, Nancy Guthrie, and Elyse Fitzpatrick, have all been refreshing gospel voices for my soul.  Of these, as Billy Graham’s grandson, Tullian is one of the most popular.  His recent book, One Way Love, had a big impact in American Christianity.  In fact, we used this study last year at Surfside Presbyterian Church and a number of people in our congregation were deeply encouraged by the wonderful emphasis on the enduring love, incredible adoption, and glorious gospel freedom that we have in Jesus Christ – our Savior and Lord who has chosen us, called us, saved us, freed us, and holds us firmly in his ever gracious grip. Continue reading Jesus, Help me to do no Harm

My Beautiful Attractive God, Valley of Vision

Valley-of-Vision ReduxMy God, Your grace is like a magnet – drawing me to all that is truly attractive. And what I find truly attractive is most beautiful in you

  • I am attracted to honor and rejoicing – I find these things most beautiful in you
  • I am attracted to glory and virtue – I find these things most beautiful in you
  • I am attracted to seeing the hand of Deity in the created world – I find these things most beautiful in you as I see you speaking, acting, filling, and shining forth in all that you have made.

I find nothing good, unless you make it so
I stand near to nothing good, unless I stand near to you Continue reading My Beautiful Attractive God, Valley of Vision

Death will Die, J.C. Ryle

JC Ryle“The day may come when after a long fight with disease, we shall feel that medicine can do no more, and that nothing remains but to die. Friends will be standing by, unable to help us. Hearing, eyesight, even the power of praying, will be fast failing us. The world and its shadows will be melting beneath our feet. Eternity, with its realities, will be looming large before our minds.

What shall support us in that trying hour? What shall enable us to feel, ‘I fear no evil’? (Psalm 23:4.) Nothing, nothing can do it but close communion with Christ. Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith,—Christ putting His right arm under our heads,—Christ felt to be sitting by our side,—Christ can alone give us the complete victory in the last struggle. Continue reading Death will Die, J.C. Ryle

The Fountain of Everything Good

Valley-of-Vision Redux

God. You are the fountain of everything that is good.
And yet there is in me the desire to imagine myself to be this fountain, instead of you
In my sin, I imagine myself to be a god – self-dependent, self-powered, and self-glorified
This estimation of myself needs to die because it is slowly killing me and viciously attacking you
These lofty thoughts of myself are really just low thoughts of you
These clinging shreds of self-righteousness spurn your righteousness and your goodness
For I have in myself a sense of pride that, when victorious, spawns every kind of bragging
And when that pride is defeated, it yields to self-loathing, self-hate, and a desire to re-crucify my Savior Continue reading The Fountain of Everything Good

John Newton on Calvinism

John NewtonOnce asked if he was a Calvinist, Newton plunked a lump of sugar into his tea, stirred the hot liquid, and said, “I am more of a Calvinist than anything else; but I use my Calvinism in my writing and preaching as I use this sugar. I do not give it alone, and whole; but mixed, and diluted…(1)  I think these doctrines should be in a sermon like sugar in a dish of tea, which sweetens every drop, but is no where to be found in a lump – tasted everywhere, though prominent nowhere…(2)  The views I have received of the doctrines of grace are essential to my peace. (3)  I could not live comfortably a day, or an hour, without them.” (4)

(1)  Diluted in a holistic and permeating way – not weakened.
(2) Convincing others to embrace Calvinism was decisively accomplished not by teaching, he said, but by experience. Often it was only after a Christian was hit by a personal trial (a “pinch”) that he or she would be finally driven to embrace the comforting truths of Calvinism. Thus, from the pulpit, Newton felt no pressure to force-feed the doctrines of Calvinism.
(3) For Newton, Calvinism was sweetness for a weary soul.
(4) In this way Newton’s life was driven theologically. Rooted deep in personal experience, theology was the stuff of life, the stuff of Newton’s life, the stuff of the Christian life.

a blog by Tim Melton…

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