My No. 250 or My Rant on Dick Vitale and Digger Phelps or My Rant on Christians

This is blog #250 so I thought I'd stir the pot a bit.

Last night after watching one of the best NCAA championship games I've ever seen, I switched the channel over to see what the talking heads on ESPN had to say about it. What I was hoping for was some great praise for Kansas and the amazing game that had just unfolded but what I heard was something so disturbing it has stuck with me all day.

In giving their "expert" analyse of the game, Dick Vitale and Digger Phlelps proceeded to relentlessly bash Coach Calapari and worse the players for Memphis. For what? Behaving badly? Poor sportsmanship? Conduct detrimental to the game of college basketball? No! For losing the game. For not calling a time out. For missing free throws. You would have thought hearing those knuckleheads rant about the game that Coach C took all his players out to mid court and shot them all execution style. Their anger, yes anger, went on for well over 15 min straight. It may have lasted longer but I took all I could handle and cut it off.

The reason it upset me was two fold. First, no former coach has any right to criticize any current coach for not handling a game situation the way he might have. Coach C did what he thought was best and unfortunately it wasn't. Why did this anger Dickie V. and Digger so much? Coach C has done more in his time of coaching then Dickie V. or Digger did combined. He was a three point shot away from winning the national championship. He won more games this year then any team in NCAA history. And when he took Memphis to the final four this year, he became the first coach in NCAA history to take two different non-BCS schools to a final four. What did Digger ever do? He coached at Notre Dame for 20 years - big whoop. All Dickie V has done is make a living out of stupid sayings.

Secondly it really bothered me that they kept blaming the loss on the two players that missed 4 out of 5 free throws at the end of the game. The phrase that kept being tossed out was "choked under the pressure". News flash for D & D: The players that missed the free throws are the main reasons Memphis even had a chance of playing for a national championship. Plus they are just kids!!! A pair of 18 and 20 year old kids!!! They had several million people watching, they gave it their all, and they missed a few shots. So what. Life isn't over. It was just a game. You don't think those kids realized how critical their missed free throws were without you two clowns harping on it forever? Shame on you Dick Vitale. You claim to be this spokesman for kids and student athletes but when the time came to lift this kids up and to encourage them for their hard work you were right there beside Digger throwing them under the bus. So what if they messed up? So what if Coach C didn't do things the way you would have?

That brings me to my "spiritual" rant.

It would be good if the basketball community was the only one that shoot their wounded and kicked kids and leaders when they are down. Or were the only ones to criticize when things weren't done the way "they" would have done it. But sadly it's not. As a pastor I've seen to many times Christians fall victim to "friendly fire". Someone once told me that the Christian army was the only army in the world that shoots its wounded. Why is it when young Christians mess up (young as in physical age or spiritual age), the more "experienced" Christians are the first ones to bury them? It's like we're sharks and we attack at the first hint of blood in the water. Or why is it when Christian leaders, or churches, or heck even your everyday run of the meal trying to follow Jesus person chooses to try a new or different ministry style they are shot down and ridiculed for not doing things the way they've always been done?

I am sick and tired of friendly fire. I'm sick of Christians tearing down other Christians. I'm sick of the judgemental attitudes that exudes from most if not it all churches and "believers". I'm sick of being grouped in with people like that. I hate the label "Christian". I hate the way we have perverted the church. I hate the way people aren't given grace but are expected to give it. I hate the way the church has been raped and molested by critics (preachers), dream-stealers (church members), and pharisees (pastors) who somehow believe they have / are the answer to life's problems and not Christ.

I wish I had an answer to it all. I wish we could cure this infection that has taken over the body of Christ. I wish I had just gone to bed instead of watching ESPN last night. By now you probably wished I had too.


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