Derek Johnson Muses

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Land Without Football: Think on the Good

So football ended a couple of weeks ago, and I hear a lot of people saying how much they miss it. I do miss football too, but not that much. Don’t get me wrong, Husker football is still great rush, but part of what makes football great for me is that it runs its course from late August through January, and when it’s over, I love spending my Sunday afternoons with books or catching up with shows on Netflix. And this year, I’m bringing a new focus to my football-less season.

Football is just a game. It’s a way to get your juices going, and bond with your friends. In the fiction I’m now writing, whenever I can’t figure out what to write, I just have the characters start talking about their favorite team. But even when it’s on and I miss a game that I wanted to see, I have ways of keeping up with it. In 2011, I missed the dramatic Wisconsin-Michigan State game as we were driving back from the Nebraska-Minnesota game. I kicked myself, but I caught the replay in a bar three months later. Just the other day, I found a fifteen minute video highlight package of this past year’s Clemson at Florida State duel, just as dramatic and capturing the whole spirit of the game. This summer, I’ll probably catch this past year’s Penn State-Wisconsin game or Ohio State-Indiana shotout while I’m out on the couch at a Super 8 in small Wisconsin town X. So here’s my new focus.

When Ron Brown said it would be an honor to be fired because of his faith, I was reminded of how difficult it is to maintain a Christian worldview these days. It’s challenging for me to write about my faith, because I want to be liked so much, and sharing your Christian convictions in this culture can lead people to dislike you, even if you speak the truth in love. But I’ve been reading books and listening to programs on the natural family, and I want to write about it.

So I have made a renewed commitment to cut back on the ESPN radio and spend more time listening to Issues, Etc. I’ve rediscovered Focus on the Family, a program I used to listen to much more in my youth. As someone who enjoys writing about relationships, I don’t know why I haven’t turned back to Focus sooner. I read GetReligion.org and SteadfastLutherans.org, to stay politically and socially informed. Don’t worry, dear readers, you’ll still get sports insight, but they’ll just be some other stuff coming too.

My goal in all this to write good pieces, some about politics, some about religion in public life, some just about culture. These may appear controversial, but through watching way too much television, I believe there is great truth to be communicate, and I don’t think anyone in society benefits when beliefs get put on the shelves and resentment builds up. Our society has lost the ability to have civil debate, and I want to be a part of bringing some of that back.

So like me or hate me, I just ask that you read me. Besides, it’s still six months until football returns, so what else will you do?

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