Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Service: Just Good Business Edition

Welcome to the Irreverent Church of the Gridiron, all ye sinners and fumblers.

Listen now for the Word!

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Bret Bielema followed his heart to Arkansas, and the Razorbacks lost 52 to NOTHING.  Hallelujah!  The tide is high and rolling on.
Silas Redd followed his heart to San Francisco Los Angeles, and the Irish defeat the Trojans 14-10!

Johnny Football signed autographs for money, and Texas A and Texas M was smote by Auburn, 45-41.  Perhaps smite is a bit strong for a four-point victory, but we like the words smite and smote here at the Irreverent Church of the Gridiron!
And it was so.
But in those days, the wolverine will rise back up and smite the Hoosier, for no one knows just what a Hoosier is, and few care for either of them.  If Jonah were alive, he would be seeking shade, while he waits for God to smite the wolverines again, but he would have waited in vain, for God cast his mercy on the wolverines of Nineveh Ann Arbor.  They prevailed 63-47.  (Did they leave our congregation to join the Big 12?  Perhaps the actual number of teams in our congregation confused them?)
The Valley of the shadow of defeat is littered with the corpses of the mighty.  LSU falleth before the Tiger of Auburn, 27-24.  Even the Bulldog of Georgia is not sacred anymore, as he fell to the Commodore of Vanderbilt, 31-27.  And the mighty Cardinal of Louisville fell on the sword of the Knight from Orlando, as UCF knocked Louisville from the ranks of the unbeaten with a score of 38-35 in Papa John's own temple.  And last, but not least, Clem's son was slain with the jawbone of a Seminole, as Florida State won 51-14.  And there was much gnashing of tiger teeth and pain and suffering followed them all the days of their trip home.
Other verses you may want to check out this week . . .
Missouri 36:17 - Lo, and the Gator became bait.  And its hide a really trendy purse, with matching boots!
Syracuse 0:56 - Beware the Ramblin' Wreck, lest ye lay an egg.
Temple 33:14 - And the Army bowed before the blind Owl.  Even a blind owl finds a mouse once in a while.

Oregon 62:38 - And the duck will walk with the cougar, but the cougar will tremble in fear.
In our humble little congregation (I swear we only have 10!), the mighty Badgers overcame the Illini 56-32.  The Spartans struggled but managed to beat the Boilermakers 14-0.  Even the Bible can't explain that!  The Buckeyes beat the Hawkeyes 34-24.  And the Golden Gopher handed Northwestern its third straight loss, defeating the Wildcat 20-17.  Perhaps Fitzgerald should not have mocked the Lion when he said that Syracuse should have beaten Penn State.  Self-righteousness follows the pride that goeth before a fall!
Which brings us to our sermon, today. 
Have you read about the grumbling at Grambling?  They fired their coach.  The players have walked out.  They forfeited a game against Jackson State.  What is going on here?
According to the scrolls from ESPN (All Hail Lee Corso!):

Grambling State football players complained of mold and mildew on equipment and in facilities, having to pay for Gatorade out of their own pockets and even said which assistants they thought would make a good interim coach after the firing of Doug Williams.

"It's horrible," [University President] Pogue said of the situation in an interview with ESPN. "Grambling is the institution when it comes to athletics. Whether Eddie Robinson -- there are legends abound. So it's horrible when the focus is in the negative on athletics."

The players' letter says "there are certain factors that are hindering us from reaching our goals" and then elaborates on many of them.

The athletic complex "is in horrible condition, and has many hazards that may contribute to our overall health," the letter says. "First, the complex is filled with mildew and mold. Mildew and mold can be seen on the ceiling, walls and floor, and are contributing to water leaks because of faltering walls and ceilings."

"The uniforms are poorly cleaned and contribute to the multiple cases (of) staph infection," the letter reads. "Several players have been infected with staph multiple times."

A group of 26 photos obtained by Gomez from an unnamed Grambling State player appears to illustrate some of the players' complaints.

Several of the photographs show walls and ceiling tiles and even player equipment that appear to be covered in mold or mildew.
Isn't it ironic that the city of Grambling actually petitioned the NCAA to vacate some of Paterno's wins so that Eddie Robinson could once again be the wins leader, John Gagliardi notwithstanding? Is this smiting the result of their prideful lust?

Perhaps.  But as in most cases, it usually is a matter of following the money.
[School Spokesman] Sutton added that buildings throughout campus, including the library, have similar problems because of neglect, and that the conditions football players have complained of are symptomatic of problems campus-wide stemming from substantial budget cuts.

"If people want to get this fixed, there are two things they can do: Make a donation to the Grambling Foundation and the other is lobby legislators to fund Grambling at the level it should be funded," Sutton said.

Sutton specified that the 57 percent cut in state funding, which has occurred over the past several years, has affected the entire campus, and that athletics was spared significant cuts until this academic year.

"When you have your budget slashed by 57 percent, you have to make choices," Sutton said, adding that the school would "love" to fly the team to distant road games, but that Grambling was contractually obligated to take its band, cheerleaders and dance team on those two trips. He said those obligations led to the difficult choice to put everyone on buses.
How long will it be before Pitt players have to walk across Pittsburgh to get to "their" stadium?  I particularly like the answer that the ONLY "ways" to fix the problem are to GET MORE MONEY.  Apparently paying the University president 57% less is NOT an option.  Or the head football coach.  Of course, they have a good example in Congress to follow.

Will Grambling raise their debt ceiling and play football this weekend?

Will the players continue to shut the Grambling football program down in protest?

Only time will tell.

But don't let this homily on the sin of money interfere with you being generous when I pass the collection plate around.  Hallelujah!

Till we congregate again, go fourth and long!  May all your fumbles be recovered.  May all your catches be in bounds.  Have a blessed week!

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