My friend Dan Sterk, a youth worker in Michigan, sent me an email this week. It was short and it wound up being very sweet. Dan was raised to be a fan of the Michigan Wolverines. He married a young lady, Kristen, who is equally enthusiastic about rooting for Michigan. I’m not sure, but it might have been a requirement for him to marry a Michigan fan. Dan told me all that before pointing me to a very interesting and curious YouTube link. . . .

While watching the video, I couldn’t help but think about what sports have become in our culture. I thought about athletes and the sense of entitlement they feel. Thanks to role models who flaunt entitlement, we have an entire generation of grade school athletes whose aspirations seem to include a combination of college scholarships and arrogance. Humility is no longer seen as a virtue. I also thought about what’s happening at the University of Miami and how the NCAA will respond.

The video features a short speech from Michigan State Quarterback Kirk Cousins. The speech was given at the annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon. Cousins was chosen to speak on behalf and to all the Big Ten Football players. In a sports culture that increasingly seems and smells like a cesspool, this one is a diamond. Cousins’ message, delivery, conviction, and boldness sent a shiver up my spine. . . really. This is a speech that I trust will be seen, heard, and heeded by coaches, athletes, parents, and fans of every age and every sport.

Thanks Dan, for the heads up on this one. And yes, maybe you should shift your allegiance for a year!

8 thoughts on “College Football, Entitlement, Miami. . . and Kirk Cousins. . . .

  1. My brothers and I are one of those 10-12 year old boys he was talking about. He is right on for Jesus Christ. Thanks Kirk for standing up for God in a culture that is not in favor of that. I hope to someday have good qualities like Kirk.

    — Josh I. (11 years old)

  2. Walt, what an outstanding talk – hard-hitting, humble and true. I’m a big Ohio State fan, but Cousins almost – I say ALMOST – wants me to root for the Spartans! Sadly, the media overkill that many players receive, especially many from disadvantaged backgrounds where the only values they have learned are from drug dealers and rap artists, gives them a different definition of “privilege” – one that convinces them of their own entitlement. I hope that significant changes be made at the collegiate level so that many more young people will discover what “privilege” really is all about, as Kirk Cousins so eloquently expressed. And perhaps the media should resume treating young athletes as the kids they are, rather than “gods.”

  3. I’m a Christ Follower; a Spartan alum; and a football fan – So proud that Kirk Cousins is our quarterback… GO GREEN 🙂

  4. Very refreshing to see a young man talk about the responsibility that comes with the privilege he’s been given playing football on a national stage. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kirk is a graduate of the school my children attend now. I say if our kids turn out half as strong in their faith as Kirk, then our tuition is worth every penny. He comes back several times a year and speaks at the school, at chapel, holding faith-n-football clinics for the kids, signing autographs. Kirk is an amazing young man, and this Michigan Wolverines fan roots for the Spartans when Kirk is playing!

  6. Granted, Kirk Cousins is quite an impressive individual and certainly is a great example of Christian discipleship, especially to our youth. But he also shares a trait with many other Christian athletes that drive me nuts! He points up toward God after completing a touchdown pass. What if the pass defender is also praying that a touchdown pass is not completed against him? Which prayer does God answer? What criteria does He use?

    But the worst aspect of the skyward finger pointing is that it denigrates God’s priorities. It begs one to question – why would God grant his prayer request to complete a touchdown pass, but refuses to grant a hysterical pleading mother’s prayer request for God to intervene and save her screaming child from a blazing inferno, which was just moments earlier referred to as their home?

  7. In response to Stephanie,
    Perhaps the finger pointing upward is to give glory to God. To point away from oneself. I don’t think it is a ‘high five’ with God, saying ‘we got game’ or claiming he is on our team, but a way of praising him in all things.

  8. ANONYMOUS, your explanation makes perfect sense. Skyward finger pointing is not thanking God for an answered prayer, but rather as you say, “praises Him in all things”.

    Your explanation TOTALLY changes my interpretation and I can now watch a football game with my boyfriend without “going nuts”. Thanks so much!

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