When David Beckham first stepped foot on American soil to play for Major League Soccer, there was a division of opinion. Some said Beckham was merely the latest in a long line of world-renown footballers, past their prime, looking to make a last stab at financial gain before retirement. There were other pundits who claimed that soccer had officially made it in America and that the Beckham brand would forever change the American landscape and attitude toward a sport with a sketchy history of attraction in the U.S.A. Now, five years later, the jury may still be out on many points of the argument but there is at least one thing (there are more) from this chaplains perspective that Beckham's
As I watched this afternoon's match up between the Colorado Rapids and the Seattle Sounders, there was one thing on my mind: Brian Mullan. Many are aware of the controversy surrounding Mullan and the Sounders' Steve Zakuani whose leg was broken in a tackle last April. Zakuani has been rehabbing and recovering and was relegated to watching today's match from a players box suite in a suit and tie. Mullan, who did not speak with media before the match, shared briefly after the game a few comments. In the hours immediately following last April's injury, Zakuani was at risk and needed surgery immediately to relieve pain and pressure from the break. I know many on the Sounders were holding their
A Wall Street Journal editorial written in 2009 by Steven H. Webb Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Wabash College proclaimed "Soccer is Ruining America." Webb's claim? That "American energy, drive, and competitiveness are being undermined to the point of no return" by the global sport that "is a foreign invasion." Amongst the arguments against the deprivation of soccer in America, was one that I find curious enough to comment on as it was listed as the first point of argument in his article and also included references to God and the Christian faith. I have included the paragraph for context below: Now, admittedly there is a degree of sarcasm and perhaps some dry, academic humor from which the author is speaking.
One of my best friends serves as youth pastor in Cardiff, Wales. He loves the image of the 'All Access' credential I wear around my neck at the stadium on match day. From the earliest days of my work with the Colorado Rapids, the badge around my neck has given me the chance to move freely - whether into the locker room or on to the pitch, into the stadium boxes and stands, or into the most obscure hallways and stairways. Even when the team played at Mile High Stadium and Invesco Field, as well as its current location at Dick's Sporting Goods Park - there have been few doors that have been shut and inaccessible - an amazing sign
It's probably a feeling and phrase that I have felt an innumerable amount of times as I visited the stadium or training grounds. It's like a bad voice in my head that won't go away. It feels condemning at times. "You're a fool." If you are reading this and have worked in any capacity as a chaplain before (whether professional sports, healthcare, or military) there are times when you cannot help but feel overwhelmed. The people, institutions, and organizations where a chaplain ministers can unknowingly and unwittingly contribute to the frustrating sense that is all to common to a chaplains experience. During my years as a hospice chaplain, it was easy to feel the fool while in the midst
It's that thing that I wait for at the beginning of every season - I wonder how many sports participants, fans, and even the casual observer wait for it too. I liken it to getting a new car and pulling out onto the road there is so much joy and anticipation, but in the back of your mind something lingers. Something isn't right... Then it happens - the first rock chip, scratch, dent, or ding on the new car. No! It's almost like we can't believe what has just happened - perfection ruined, buyers remorse, "What have I done?" "Can we start over? How could I have avoided that?" Many times that is the feeling that surrounds that first damage