There's lots of talk about Stevie Johnson, the Bills wideout who dropped the game-winning touchdown and then, after the game, tweeted:
I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…
I feel bad for the guy. He’s getting mocked across the nation, and some of the criticisms are along the lines of “it’s just a game.” Such criticisms are very ignorant. Catching a ball is what this guy was hired to do. It’s his living. I get upset when things I try to do at my job don’t go well. Doesn’t matter if your job is a plumber, programmer, pastor, doctor, or athlete.
In the case of an athlete, a failure on the job is witnessed by millions of people. To this day, athletes like Leon Lett, Bill Buckner, and Robin Ventura, who should be known for having great careers, are instead known for one bad moment. They’re regarded as failures despite being better at what they do that 99.9% of people who judge their performance and assess their worthiness.
My hope for Johnson is that he will have a game where he does something really well, and alters the way people think about him. And my other hope is that he will see God as He really is.
I have never received a dime for playing sports, but have felt his same frustration when my softball team, or the kids’ baseball team that I coach, has had a heartbreaking loss, a dropped ball, or missed opportunity. In fact, I’ve had it outside of sports, as well. This isn't about money; it's about a guy who had thoughts like we all do, only his went public.
Note: much of this blog post originated in comments I posted on Karen Spears Zacharias' excellent post at http://bit.ly/hdGrSA