Night of Victories

Orange Bowl TrophyAfter 39 years the Jayhawks finally won the Orange Bowl trophy. They didn’t have to use a 6-3-3 defence last night. Aqib Talib scored the first touch down by running back an intercepted pass. He displayed a little excessive exuberance “high-stepping” across the goal line, for which a penalty was added to the kick-off that followed.

Fortunately for Aqib, the penalty was not fatal for his team, as the infamous “twelfth man” on the field was back on New Year’s day, 1969. Twice in the last century the Jayhawks made the trip to Miami and came up empty, but in this new millennium they are undefeated in Orange Bowl appearances.

After the penalty, the TV camera zoomed in on coach Mangino advising Talib on the etiquette of celebrating after a touchdown. Sure enough, behind a svelte looking Mangino (he’s been working out with the team) was our Claudia on national TV enjoying her 5-and-a-half seconds of fame.

The Hoakies of West Virginia fought valiantly. Their remarkable season gave pride and hope to their community after last years’ tragic mass murder on campus.

I think there is some other game Monday, but as far as I’m concerned, the season is over and the national championship has been decided.

I have mixed feelings about the importance of sports. Sometimes I think our priorities are all wrong and it’s a form of idolatry. Other times I think it is an outlet for some primal aggressive, tribal tendencies; and so offers a substitute for war. Other times I think it does display character values such as discipline, cooperation, and heroism. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the game last night.

There was another contest last night: Barack Obama came out as the Democrats choice in Iowa, despite his alleged lack of experience, and Mike Huckabee was the Republicans’ choice, despite being greatly outspent by his opponents. Since I mentioned earlier an incident some consider a spot on Huckabee’s record, I will pass on a favorable comment from Christian activist Jim Wallis:

One of the highpoints for me of the campaign thus far came in a Republican debate where both Mike Huckabee and John McCain defended the humanity of undocumented people in the midst of an extended attack on “illegal aliens” by other candidates. In the face of some of the most heated rhetoric, John McCain asked his colleagues to remember that the people they were all talking about were “also the children of God.” And in defending his inclusion of the children of the undocumented in his state’s scholarship programs, Mike Huckabee stood his ground and said the U.S. was not the kind of country that punished children for the mistakes of their parents. Both have been willing to challenge their party on other issues too – McCain supports both comprehensive immigration and campaign finance reform; and Huckabee was recently accused of being a “Christian socialist” by a leading economic conservative because of how he spent money on poor people in Arkansas. One political commentator on the Republican side told me he thought McCain and Huckabee have been rising in the polls because of the “character” they have shown in these debates (God’s Politics).