Maybe you got to watch the induction ceremony of the National Football League Hall of Fame tonight. I hope you did, but probably you didn't. Two of my favorite past players from my favorite (and hometown) team were among those enshrined in the Hall.
Now, if you're not a football fan, please don't give up on me just yet. What was said by these men was little about football and much about faith and character.
Darrell Green (#28) was for 20 years a starter at cornerback. Twenty years at the position demanding both speed and the ability to make a hit when it counts. For many of those years Darrell Green was the NFL's fastest man. I'll never forget the Monday Night game against the hated Cowboys when, in his first game, he ran down Tony Dorsett from across the field, preventing a touchdown. I'll never forget listening to a NFL playoff game in 1988(?) against the Bears when he returned a punt for a TD, hurdling over a Chicago player. And he was hurt while he did it.
Art Monk (#81) was the most solid, consistent wide receiver who never show-boated; never embarrassed his team; who quietly played the game with dignity, commanding the respect of everyone on the field. How many times did I hear Frank, Sonny or Sam yell out "First down Monk" or "Touchdown Art Monk"? Today's ego-centric gangsters who seem to be the typical NFL player today could learn much from Monk. And after 8 years of not being elected to the Hall, tonight's induction was especially sweet. The standing ovation he received was over 4 minutes long.
But if you heard their sons present them to the Hall and then heard their acceptance speeches you heard beautiful testimonies of their faith in Jesus Christ. Gail was listening from another room and commented, "I'm hearing sermons!". Talk about powerful.
Here were two black men boldly telling of their Lord, their love for their wives, their roles as fathers to their children and their calling by God to use their gifts for His glory. Talk about role models.
I'm sure their speeches will be up on Youtube pretty quick. It's worth watching. Heck, I'm tempted to show them in church instead of preaching myself!
In the background was their old coach, Joe Gibbs. I know he had to be busting his buttons with pride, not only because two of his players were joining him in the Hall, but because they represented his Lord Jesus so well.
The burgundy and gold never was better than tonight.