I had the misfortune of watching yesterday evening’s national telecast of the college football game in which the Boise State Broncos hosted the Oregon Ducks. The lowlight occurred after the final gun sounded and players were returning to their respective locker rooms.
That’s when Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount sucker punched Boise State linebacker Byron Hout. If such a vicious attack had occurred on the streets of downtown Boise rather than at Bronco Stadium, the Oregon player – who goes by the nickname “Blount Force Trauma” – would have been arrested for assault.
Gridiron “gangstas” like Blount take the joy out of following college football. They are a reminder that campus jocks are “disproportionately involved in assaults, rapes, robberies, and other crimes,” as documented by D. Stanely Eitzen in his authoritative book, “Fair and Foul: Beyond The Myths and Paradoxes of Sport.
That’s why I thank God for student-athletes like Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback of the Florida Gators, and Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners.
They are exceptional athletes on the field. And they are even more exceptional individuals off the field. That’s because both are committed Christians.
Indeed, when Tebow was awarded his Heisman, as the nation’s top collegiate football player, the then-sophomore began his acceptance speech by “thanking my Lord and savior Jesus Christ, who gave me the ability to play football, gave me a great family and support group and great coaches and everything around me.”
Tebow’s testimony was echoed by Bradford when he won his Heisman. “First I need to thank God,” the then-junior said. “He’s given me so many blessings. He’s blessed me with so many opportunities. He’s put so many wonderful people in my life. I give all the credit to Him because, without Him, I’d be nowhere. We’d all be nowhere without Him.”
College football needs more upstanding student-athletes Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford. And fewer thugs like LeGarrette Blount.