I’m not a big fan of professional football and I don’t keep up with team records, football players or the drama that often plays out on the field. To be truthful, I’ve become burned out on most professional sports, these days. I’m slowly getting that way with college sports.

So, it should come as no surprise that, even though I watched Super Bowl LVIII, I really didn’t have “a dog in that fight.” Don’t get me wrong…the game was exciting and wasn’t decided until the overtime period. I was impressed with the defensive play of both teams. I was also impressed that the 49ers played without several of their star players and came within a hair’s breadth of winning. The game exemplified athleticism at its best! When the game was over, players from both teams who were worn out still took the time to congratulate or console one another. While sportsmanship is in small supply, these days, I thought both teams conducted themselves well without creating a lot of drama.

But…………… Okay, you knew something was coming and here it is. In the aftermath of this event, I noticed a lot of profanity, public drunkenness, and rowdy behavior on the part of the champions. It would be easy to think, “This is just the way things are, these days. Let it go.” I have difficulty with that notion. These are the heroes our young people watch and imitate. What we saw after the game and during the parade was shameful. Contrary to popular belief, celebrity status does not give anyone the right to act in such a way.

What has happened to modesty, self-control and acting in wisdom? The apostle Paul admonished us to “walk circumspectly (carefully, gk), not as fools, but as wise.” (Eph. 5:15) Peter said, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” (1 Pet. 1:15) I realize many of these athletes do not profess to be Christians. Still, they are watched by our youth. In fact, they are paid to be watched and to perform well on the field. Perhaps there ought to be incentive pay to encourage better behavior! All of us need a hero, someone we can look up to and admire. It seems to me, though, that the greatest hero is not someone who flaunts ungodliness, but one who exalts righteousness. We have great young people in the church, here. They need role models to follow. I don’t think Super Bowl champs should be their ideal. Maybe their heroes need to be godly men and women in the church who are more interested in them going to heaven rather than buying merchandise.


—Gary Knuckles is one of the preachers at Briensburg Church of Christ in Benton, KY