Lessons from Fantasy Football


I am getting ready to watch Monday Night Football. I am waiting to see if Antonio Brown can bounce back after a less than stellar game last week. I also am waiting to see another Antonio, Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers. This will be his first game of the season since he missed the first four due to a suspension. You see, I have Brown on my fantasy team and my wife just added Gates to hers. Yes, fantasy football has changed the way we watch football forever. If you have never played, it might be something you need to experience to truly understand. Basically, you pick a team of offensive players to compete against other teams and you win based upon how well your player performs on the field. Lots of yards, touchdowns, and field goals mean big points for your team. Of course, your team is made up of players from all different teams, so you could even have players on YOUR team playing against each other in real life.

I have been struck by something since I have started playing fantasy football. You may have a very talented player on your team, but without help from the rest of the real life team he is on, he will not accumulate enough points for you to win. A wide receiver needs a good quarterback to get him the ball. A kicker needs his teammates to get the ball down the field to get close enough for him to have a chance of kicking a field goal. A running back needs great blockers to open holes for him to run through in the opposing team’s defense. A player may get a ton of points one week, but if his star quarterback gets injured, the next week his total will go way down.

Too often in the Church we look at things like we are playing fantasy football. We look for the pastor to carry most of the burden for the pastoral care of those in need in our community. We look to the DRE to pull through and get all the catechists needed for the new faith formation year. We often times look for other key people to get the job done while we watch from the sidelines.

But no one in a community, or on a football team, can succeed without the effort of everyone involved. It is what St. Paul talks about in terms of the Body of Christ. We all have a part to play and we have been given specific gifts to fulfill that role. In football it takes teamwork to succeed. Christianity needs the entire Body of Christ to spread the Good News to the end of the earth.

WOW! Antonio Gates just caught his 100th career touchdown pass, but it took an entire team for it to happen. I hope the rest of the game goes well for both Antonio’s, for the sake of my marriage! But tomorrow, let’s try to evaluate the game plan, God’s game plan, and see where we all need to step up and help our team get the job done.

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