What is it about preachers that makes us have the worst attitudes about sports?
I played basketball with two preachers every Monday night for years as a high school student. It was a church event where several of the men and teenagers gathered at a local school to play on Monday night. Both preachers had bad attitudes, but both influenced me differently.
The first preacher allowed his son to run wild during the games, calling too many and unnecessary fouls, being too aggressive, and ruining the experience for many. But he could also bring it himself! I remember one time when he thought another player had called a light foul against him. On the next possession, as that player brought the ball up the court, the preacher charged him, slammed into him, knocked him down, and said, "That's a foul!"
Usually this preacher would leave the games in a bit of a sulk and disregarded how his attitude sat with the rest of the group.
The other preacher could be just as bad. He was a bit of a rules-lawyer and liked to appeal to his previous experience for why he was right--he had made the equivalent of the all-state team while in high school. He was intense and played hard, sometimes going over the edge with a hot temper.
But at the end of the night, he would seek out those he might have offended to make amends. He even called some the next day just to apologize for the way his attitude might have affected them.
His basketball demeanor didn't influence any of us positively, but his after-game humility sure did.
It was this minister, not the first one, who influenced me to become a minister.
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.