Archives for category: sports

When making the daily rounds through social media streams, it’s way too easy for me to devolve into cynicism. Between the shouty political noise and clickbaity look-at-me clamoring, it can all be a little much.

But this, this is an example of the power of genuine, authentic faith in Jesus to cut through the noise and brokenness of our culture.

Ingrid Williams, the wife of Monty Williams, the associate head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was tragically killed in a car accident last week.

By all accounts, Williams is a beloved figure around the NBA and this incredible message he delivered at his wife’s memorial service demonstrates why:

Williams demonstrates so much to admire: his genuine love and admiration for his wife, his trust and faith in God even in these darkest of times. As he said during his beautiful eulogy, “This will work out. Doesn’t mean it’s not hard. Doesn’t mean it’s not painful. Doesn’t mean we won’t have tough times. What we need is the Lord. And that’s what my wife tried to exhibit every single day.”

But at 4:40, Williams says something truly stunning:

I’m going to close with this, and I think it’s the most important thing that we need to understand. Everybody is praying for me and my family, which is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation, and that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family.

In my house, we have a sign that says ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness. That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife.

Life is hard. It is very hard. And that was tough. But we hold no ill will towards the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family, because they grieve as well.

Normally, I’m in the don’t read the comments camp of Internet browsing. Too often, the comments are worse than a schoolyard with their no-you’re-the racist accusations and anonymized name-calling.

But the comments (at least on one popular sports blog) speak to the authenticity of Monty Williams’ witness of the hope and power we find in Jesus. A quick sampling:

Comment 3

It’s always heartwarming when a true Christian is heard from. I am not religious, but I believe the teachings of Christ is the lessons of forgiveness. Forgiveness is what you need in your heart to look at others and understand they grieve too. To turn the other cheek, sometimes you need to see through the eyes of others, as painful as that might be. The test of your beliefs is when you are in the darkest place, when everything is crumbling.

It is truly awesome to behold.

Comment 1

“We didn’t lose her. When you lose something you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is.”

Damn. Those sentences right there. Stopped me cold and made me think. What a powerful thing to say in such a simple and concise manner.

Comment 2

I’m a huge Knicks fan an I remember when they drafted him out of Notre Dame and everyone was concerned about his preexisting heart condition. It turns out he managed to rise above it and made a good career for himself. As great as that was, it appears his life off the court was even better.

Its heartbreaking that he lost his wife the way he did, but man, having that type of faith is pretty awesome. I don’t care what religion someone believes in, but when you see that type of faith, love, and forgiveness in someone, you know they will be able to carry on.

Was his condition that his heart is enormous? Sure sounds like it.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus rest upon the Williams family as they navigate their sorrow and loss, and may they continue to walk in such genuine faith.

There’s nothing quite like hearing the entire crowd at MSG shout, “Ooooh!” in unison when Jeremy Lin breaks the ankle of an opposing defender with his quick-strike crossover. Seriously, I can understand why — despite their long run of frustration (and, believe me, as a longsuffering Lions fan, I know frustration) — players want to play for the Knickerbockers.

Watching Jeremy Lin light up the crowd, hearing them chant his name (along with M-V-P), listening to Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s announcing gymnastics about him — it all lends itself to a sense of big-brotherly pride. Well, for someone my age, it’s more like an uncle or cheering on a former youth group student, but you get what I’m saying.


A Reason to Cheer

As this Times article points out, there are many people who would find affinity with and reason to cheer boisterously for JLin7: Asian Americans, Christians, Ivy Leaguers (who rarely get to watch alumns make it in the NBA – for real, I remember cheering/cringing while I watched fellow Quaker Matt Maloney play alongside The Dream, The Glide, and The Round Mound of Rebound for the Rockets back in the day), New Yorkers, and anyone who like a good underdog story.

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If you’ve never of “breaking someone’s ankles” in basketball, here’s what it means:

And, in the same game, Derrick Rose completely rebuked an Andre Miller layup attempt.  If they were nerdy gamers (instead of multimillionaire ballers), we might say that Miller got pwned all game long by Rose.  All Miller’s base are belong to Rose!

That I actually still post over at Next Gener.Asian Church — check out Our Band Needs a Phonoharp.  Might be some other writing opportunities in the near future… I’ll keep you posted.

In other news, the Detroit Lions — owners of the worst record over the past seven seasons in the NFL (31-84, if you care to share in my pain) — have finally given ol’ Matt Millen the boot.  Hopefully, the Lions can finally stop their automatic three-touchdown deficit (as they’ve falled behind 21-0, 21-0 and 21-3 in their first three games).  I’m not asking for victories, just a little bit of dignity in defeat.

I knew it was getting bad last week when the coach of Appalachian State University, who upset U of M in last year’s opening shocker, was talking smack about the Wolverines — and they weren’t even playing them this season.  Check out this quote from the App State coach after losing to LSU last weekend:

“They (LSU) are so athletic. It just wore on us,” Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said. “They didn’t play like Michigan. They played like LSU.”

Ouch.

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According to this article at ESPN.com, the LPGA has reversed its planned policy of suspending players who could not speak English:

Facing anger from lawmakers and bewilderment from sponsors, the LPGA Tour backed off plans to suspend players who cannot speak English well enough to be understood at pro-ams, in interviews or in making acceptance speeches at tournaments in the United States.

The policy has generated a storm of bad publicity since it was announced last month

Perhaps this is a testimony to Eugene Cho’s blogging power (and, if so, how can I get him to blog about people sending me gifts of gold doubloons?).  In any case, this is a small bit of good news — even if it takes the threat of sponsors withdrawing financial support and possible legal challenges — that change is possible (although, really, the LPGA should have seen this one coming).

The Olympics are about the bringing the world together in perfect harmony, right? Maybe that was just an old soda commercial.

I have definitely been enjoying these Olympic games — in fact, I might be watching too much. The other day, my daughter identified the Chinese flag without prompting. And she’s never studied flags or nations or anything of the sort in her five years of life. It must be from all the handball, fencing and table tennis I’ve been watching.

The Olympics are supposed to bring us together, to provide a literal playing field upon which nations can come together and forget their differences. And yet, as the headlines of reality remind us, nations still continue to sabre-rattle, posture, provoke and invade one another. Even within the games themselves, we are reminded — despite Visa’s best advertising efforts (“Go World,” to which we respond, “Go where?”) — that we still have a long way to go in understanding one another. A very long way.

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