Posted on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Dick Butkus #51 was arguably the most intimidating player to ever play football. Other players admitted that they were flat-out frightened of him.
Besides being a ferocious and determined player, Butkus was an intelligent player. He had great vision, instincts, and effort, but he also studied game film – long before it was common – so that he knew what the opposition was likely to do on offense. At the snap of the ball, Butkus seemed to fly to wherever the play was headed. He played every game as though it were his last… 1
Dick Butkus had a fierce love for football.
Fierce Love 2
Dick Butkus was a remarkable football player. There were players who were more talented, but few played the game the way he did.
I remember a frigid game when their opponent, the Redskins, had the ball at their own 5-yard line. Butkus, rocking forward in anticipation with the vapor from his breath coming in short bursts, shot the gap between the offensive guard and tackle. He arrived in the backfield just as the quarterback was handing the ball to the running back, and so he tackled both of them.
Another time, he intercepted a pass and, as a newspaper reported the next day, “left flattened Lions in his wake.”
Ahmad Rashad of the Vikings once tried a slant pattern over the middle and Butkus clobbered the ball loose. “Stay out of my territory,” he growled. Rashad defiantly asked his quarterback to run that play again. This time, Butkus knocked the wind out of Rashad in the ensuing collision. When Rashad finally returned to the huddle, he meekly said, “Don’t run that play again.”
The fierceness of Butkus’ playing style, though, pales in comparison to the fierceness of God’s love. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” John 13:1 says of Jesus, “Having loved them, He loved them to the end”...to the arrest, to the beatings, to the cross – for us. Only a fierce love could withstand all that.
Today is my birthday. I’m turning 51. I want to live the rest of my life as if it might be my last day passionately reflecting God’s love for us.
May each of us reflect the fierce love of God, is mysilentscream.
1 – Adapted from Howie Long’s Football for Dummies, 3rd edition
2 – Quoted from Sports Spectrum Vol. 26 No. 1 (Dec. 2011)