A Christian stoic

I rather admire the philosophy expressed by Ben Watson, the New Orleans tight end, at the end of his career:

“I am not a great football player. I am not a Hall of Famer. But I learned that’s okay. I’m steady. I’m reliable. And I have other interests. I am a strong Christian. I am interested in lots of other issues in life. Then, I got to be known for some of the things I wrote, some of the things I said. God was working at that time. He can lift your name up and make you known. Or you’ve got a different role. It sucks sometimes. I would have loved to be running those slant-and-go’s for big yards, but it wasn’t my time. On the other hand, I was speaking on the things happening in the country. It opened doors for me in terms of helping people. I learned this from God: ‘Be faithful when your name is in lights. Be faithful when your name is not in lights.’

His ability to calmly reflect on his own limitations is especially impressive considering the level of disappointment he must still be feeling after being robbed of the chance to finish his career on the game’s ultimate stage.

The Greeks, the Romans, the English, and the old Americans all understood that sports played an important role in the formation of a man.


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