Today’s Greensboro Daily News supported the headlines “Broken Hearted” referring to the very dejected appearance of Cam Newton at the end of last night’s Super Bowl game. I think all of us pulling for the Panthers were a little dejected. We bought into the hype… Newton was good. He was the MVP of the NFL this year. His arm was a gun that fired those beautiful bullet passes right on target. This team had a 17-1 overall record this year and were carrying our hopes and dreams to the Super Bowl. We thought that today we would be celebrating bringing the Lombardy Trophy back to the Carolinas. However, that was not to be.
Was Cam not really that good? Were the Panthers really not as good as the Broncos? Was our hope and trust misplaced? The pundits and arm-chair quarterbacks are making all kinds of excuses today… coming up with their own interpretation… spin on what took place in that game. Many are saying what happened was the defense smacked the Panthers in the face and they never got back up. Certainly the first quarter blown call concerning the 30 yard pass reception took away momentum which the Panthers were about to seize. Whatever it was the Panthers never got on track… they kept getting knocked down… sacked at every turn. They simply were not up to the task last night.
I remember back in the sixth grade when I played my first year of little league baseball. I happened to be pretty good. I was the MVP short-stop of the league with 14 home runs. We won almost every game and came out champions in the Burlington little league.
Now it was off to Thomasville and a division playoff game. I remember to this day..as clear as if it were today… what I said as we entered the Thomasville field that night. I looked at the outfield fence and remarked: “Wow, that sure is a close fence. I won’t have any problems hitting the ball over that fence.” I just knew we were going to win that game… cause I was going to hit every pitch out-a-there.
Sure I was good in Burlington among the teams we faced there. What I had never faced before was a pitcher with a very mean curve ball. I kept jumping back to keep from getting hit with a ball which I was sure was coming straight at me… then it would curve in over the plate for a strike. The only time this clean-up batter got on base that night was when I got hit on the thumb by a pitch. The coach was even considering taking me out. Needless to say, I was broken hearted, embarrassed by my lack of performance and letting myself and my team down. It was a very bad feeling.
I am glad there were no full page, front page pictures of me after that game. It would have been much like the pictures we see today of Cam or Josh Norman… broken hearted indeed.
I think what can happen from this defeat is that we learn from it, mature with it, and come back next year wiser and more ready mentally to deal with a game in such a distracting time. Look at what happen to Payton Manning and the Broncos two years ago. They even had memes of Manning saying: “I was going to throw in the towel but they would have intercepted that too.” They were blown out BIG TIME!!! This year they came back more mature and wiser at what to expect and their defense pulled off a win.
So, just perhaps, “Keep Pounding” will come in handy for next year? Perhaps keep pounding, keep pushing forward is for those who are in a broken hearted situation rather than just for those who have a winning record? Maybe that is part of being a disciple… a learner… who never stops learning from the Master but takes every opportunity to learn, grow and become more like the master. We know that we not only get knocked down once… we are getting knocked down every day… but we keep moving forward, striving for that upward goal of knowing Christ Jesus.
Dear Lord, give us the strength to keep pounding even, or maybe especially, when our hearts are broken. In and through Jesus. Amen.