By Rev. Gerald Britt
Interesting happenings recently…
First of all, Peyton Manning, the erstwhile Indianapolis Colt quarterback and inevitable first round NFL Hall of Famer.
Peyton’s signing with the Denver Broncos made all the sense in the world. So did his departure from the Colts.
Manning brought Indy their first NFL Championship title, but the collapse of the team after his injury revealed a team had no ‘Plan B’ and no future. The Indianapolis Colts was quite simply all Manning. Great if he was 26, but Manning is 36. Whether or not he was totally recovered from his neck injury, the 2011 season was a glimpse into the future. Team owner Jim Irsay, embraced that future and went all in. He fired the general manager, vice-president, head coach and finally Peyton Manning.
The need for Manning to go was clear: Indianapolis was built for Peyton. Hiring a new general manager and new head coach, made no sense if you were going with the same old system. And why saddle the new coach with the burden of having to bench Peyton Manning, healthy or not? Or pay Manning a $28 million bonus if he was not the team’s future? It was a gutsy move and the right one.
Lesson: No one’s indispensable…
By signing with the Denver Broncos, Manning may have provided a $96 million missing piece to a possible championship. Maybe. But the Broncos were going to have a new quarterback anyway. The question was whether it would have been someone else or Peyton Manning.
Tebow Mania, fun while it lasted, saw its last day in a Denver uniform last January. You could see it in the way Bronco VP and Hall of Fame former quarterback John Elway rolled his eyes nearly every time Denver won game with him under center. Tebow doesn’t have the fundamentals to be a good NFL quarterback right now, let alone a great one. Character, leadership and enthusiasm, were a powerful statement, by the former Florida Gator. But the NFL is not about ‘statements’, it’s about winning. The Denver Broncos weren’t going to win big enough over 16 games with Tim Tebow at quarterback. So enter Peyton Manning to Denver; exit Tim Tebow to the New York Jets.
What about Tebow’s faith? What about it? Tim Tebow is still a Christian. He just didn’t lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl. But since when has the validity of the Christian faith been determined by worldly success? Christians in the 21st century, tend to forget our Real Hero was executed as a criminal and the Resurrection was an event of cosmic significance, disbelieved by most of those who witnessed it.
The Christian faith isn’t defined by ‘winning’ according to worldly standards. And sometimes ‘winning’ takes longer than a couple of years. Tebow’s witness is simpler than we’ve made it: work hard, be prepared, deliver as best you can when called upon and thank God for the opportunity! Most of us won’t get to do much more than that. But that kind of faithfulness is a powerful witness.
Lesson: We model true faith by being faithful no matter what…
The Rev. Gerald Britt Jr. is Vice President of Public Policy at CitySquare.org. He blogs at www.changethewind.org. and writes a monthly column for the Dallas Morning News. His e-mail address is email@example.com.