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Friday, April 23, 2010

Take a lesson on Character from the NFL; Who'd have thunk it?

If the title of this post made you gag, get a quick drink of water and bear with me. Just a single day after posting an article insisting that ex Florida Uber Quarterback Tim Tebow's faith would get in the way of his being picked by certain teams in the NFL Draft, Yahoo Sports turned around and published an article about how important a role Tim Tebow's character played in him being drafted so highly.

Just to be clear, I'm not knocking Yahoo for hypocrisy. Two different authors with two very different takes on the state of the NFL. In fact I laud Yahoo for publishing today's article because it was all about the NFL reevaluating what's important when it comes to draft day. At least with Round 1 of the NFL draft, there were several surprising developments, and they all involved teams choosing character over better talent.

In the first round, Tim Tebow (above) was chosen by the Broncos over several quarterback choices, even though many "experts" don't believe Tebow has the form/tools to be a star NFL QB. But in the wake of Steelers QB Ben Rothleisberger's recent troubles with morality, it seems the Denver Broncos wanted a "good guy" to captain their team. Bravo for them. The Broncos also selected wide receiver Demaryius Thomas over ultra talented Dez Bryant. Why? Character. Bryant's had troubles, lots of questions about his work ethic, etc. Not so with Thomas. Thomas (below) is a "good guy."
The San Diego Chargers went out of their way, trading up to select running back Ryan Matthews, stressing that he is the kind of guy they want as a leader in their locker room. Ryan, we learn, keeps his commitments. He signed to play college FB with Fresno State, but after that, several bigger, more influential schools came asking and offering. He turned them down. He's a good guy.

So what can we learn from the NFL? Well, maybe we can learn that when we do our inevitable picking in life, maybe we can make our picks based on character and substance over flash and style. No, we don't hold a draft for picking friends, girlfriends, or spouses, but we all go looking. How do you choose? I remember high school too well to have lost the chip I had on my shoulder then. It used to make me ill that so many of the girls I had crushes on went after the rudest, most disrespectful, foul mouthed guys in the school.

And how many times has "Nice Gal A" made a mess of her own life by marrying "Bad Boy A?" Too many to count. Some of our readers will probably support that. And it's not just the ladies choosing flash over faithfulness. Men often become bumbling idiots, fawning over the babe with the low cut neckline. Shame on us. We ought to be fighting to lay down our coats for the sweetheart next door. And forget romance for just a minute, what about plain old friends. Who do we hang out with? Do we gravitate towards good character? I contend that we should.

What would happen if we did? What would happen if we all chose friends, romantic friends, spouses, careers, neighborhoods, etc. etc. based on quality of character? My hunch is, we'd end up with a tenfold better society. Why? Supply and Demand. As a middle school teacher of 19 years, I've noticed something very interesting. If you have a class where the good kids get the majority of the attention, disciplinary issues begin to vanish, and good kids multiply. If the opposite occurs, and the idiots get most of the attention, sooner or later, you'll end up with a room full of idiots.

Imagine a high school where the girls all went after the "nice guys." Pretty soon, the jerks and blowhards would straighten up. Think about it, ladies, who do you really want for a husband? The cute high school guy who cuts class, smokes, and defies authority? Extrapolate what that will look like in ten years. Uh, yeah, not so good. And guys, who are you going to bring roses to? The sexy party girl who flirts with ALL the boys? What kind of mother will she be for your kids? Hmmm...

And if you do decide to hang with the kid who drinks underage and occasionally shoplifts, where do you think you'll end up? I'm just asking. Because if the NFL can figure out that character matters, should we be able to figure it out as well?


Cora said...



Galadriel said...

Not to mention The Blind Side, which totally rocked the charts last fall. I never thought I'd say this, but there are some good things about the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Very good post, Mr. Batson. You have really set me thinking...

Also, I wonder, would you honor us with a comment/post giving us your thoughts on teen dating? There was a (rather large) debate on the subject in the Underground, and I would be most interested to hear your stance on this topic.


WayneThomasBatson said...

Wow, Anon, teen dating is a tough subject because society for the last 30 years has done little but preach that dating is the regular thing to do for kids as young 8th grade. I have a 14 year old daughter, and I've already told her she can't date until she's 30. lol. But seriously, I'm still formulating where I stand on this issue. There are lots of questions: 1) Is dating really necessary to find a spouse? 2) Is old enough to want to, old enough to date? 3)Is dating even something for modern kids to be thinking about prior to college? 4) what exactly is dating? What should it be? But most importantly to me is, what kind of dating (if any) will glorify God and lead a young person to the one God has designed for him or her?

Anonymous said...

Excelllent post Mr Batson!

As on the topic of teen dating,
I personally think there isn't any point to dating. I mean, why do people date anyways?
(Also, most people start dating WAY before eighth grade, i have a friend who went out with a person whe they were both in 5th grade and younger....) Secondly, we as Christians don't need to date. If God has a husband or a wife picked out for us, we don't need to go looking around trying to find someone to marry or fill our momentary desires. He already has that person ready and waiting. And, does dating last a long time or is meaningful or helpful? Mostly not. You just "break up" and have a reason to mope around all week till the next cute guy or gal asks you out.
I personally belive dating is not what God wants for any of His children.

Seth said...

Without trying to get too much into the discussion on the subject on teen dating, I think there's a few words that come to my mind. Namely, why does the person want to date? Is it for a lasting relationship or one that will end in a few months? I personally have not dated in my short lifetime and I don't think I will for quite some time. Anyway, that's just my take. If your purpose for dating is pure then the minor details fall in, when they're not pure, then the relationship usually fails within a short amount of time, months, a year or two, but not long term.

Squeaks said...

Amen, amen, and amen!!!

I think that dating is for loosers...hopefully that's not putting it too harshly :P But seriously, all that dating prepares you for is learning how to divorce. Why else would people hook up with someone they "love" only to dump that person 1 month later?? It's a complete recipie for disaster. I strongly agree with Anonymous. God has our partner picked out for us so why do we even consider cooling around with the heart of a guy/girl that is not destined for us? In short, my opinion on dating is that it doest teach you about how to love, rather it teaches you how to become an adulterer (cheating) and sets you up with charActeristics for a future divorce. Let God play matchmaker, because He'll definitely do a better job at it than us humans :P


Anonymous said...

Methinks teen dating is unwise, but I think that differs from courtship, which is I believe what people do when they are actually contemplating getting married, as opposed to just having fun.

Mr. Batson, thank you for participating in this discussion (thus far, at least...). What are your answers to the four questions you listed?


everlastingscribe said...

Hm, so "Bad company corrupts good morals" is actually true? Really? Fancy that.

Gold star for the one who knows where you find that.

Platinum star for the one that knows what book is quoting what book!

*hint* They're both in one volume.

m'lord can't play.
Cos he knows ;)

Anonymous said...


That's the reason my family has chosen to try courtship out. Dating is a recipe for disaster; it's basically practicing divorce- you pick a girl or guy to go out with, then either you or the other person dumps the other and goes after the next person in line. (I don't know if that made any sense. lol)

I know the things I want in a husband (in about 10 years), and I'm willing- TOTALLY!!- to wait. True love waits!


Lady DragonKeeper said...

@ Squeaks - Well, there is a difference in the "modern" definition of dating than what it had in the past (its way more "casual" now) . . . just saying, don't trash all of it. : )
I personally haven't dated or courted, but from the what I've heard, I'd want something "half-and-half." Of course, someone should pretty much always be "chaperoning" but I don't think you'd have to spend all your time with family --you could spend some time courting with just the two of you maybe to dinner (with your chaperone, but he/she could be a table or two away for some "privacy" hearing-wise . . . so is something like that courtship or dating? : )
For most teens, I would say that they really shouldn't be dating, ditto with you all on middle school dating (or younger o_0) --way too young . . . I believe there are some young men and women who, in their late teens may indeed be ready for marriage (and will be able to stay married in the long run), but I'd say that in today's world, that would be very rare.
One friend I have (who's a guy) says that he's not even considering dating/courting until he is able to support himself and a family financially . . .
In college . . . I'd keep the "option" of courting/dating open, who knows what God has planned, but . . . right now I'm focusing on my studies.
I think it's good though, that you all realize that the "casual" way that many people take "dating" as today is not a way to have a healthy, long-lasting relationship or marriage.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I would quite agree about dating being a bad, unnessary thing. Here's why. Responsible, Christian dating is a good idea because it not only can help you decide who you will marry some day(or if you will marry at all), but I believe that it can also teach you alot about people in general. God wants us to positively interact with each other so that we can learn and grow in His love. My dad often tells me, "Life's a contact sport". Furthermore, how do you think people meet each other? By Christian dating/courtship, we can work with God in finding true, enduring love. Dating doesn't have to involve alot of kissing and other things like that, nor should it. When done right, young men can simply learn and practice being gentleman, while young women can learn and practice to be graceful ladies. Although I haven't dated yet(I'm currently 17), I'm pretty sure God wants people to enjoy each other's company. Men and women were attracted for a reason.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Is Tim Tebow the guy that has versus on his cheeks during games?