Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review - Men of Sunday

Men of Sunday
How Faith Guides the Players, Coaches, and Wives of the NFL
By Curtis Echelberger
Published by Thomas Nelson









I’m not one who follows football all that closely, but since we are in the middle of football season, I thought this would be an interesting read.  Interesting book, but bad choice for me.  I don't know most of the many players and managers mentioned in the book, and for that reason found it hard to stay interested in the book.
But for someone who follows football, there is an incredible number of football players and managers covered.  Given the lack of media coverage on the role faith plays on football teams, players and coaches, I was pleasantly surprised to find an amazing amount of detail on the role of faith and on the religious attitudes and lifestyles of many of the players and their families.

However I do have a caution in reading the book, especially for those whose love of football and the players could blind them to some of the questionable statements that are occasionally made. One obvious one is on page 37 where Washington Redskins safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is responding to the questions of seriously injuring an opponent when it may not be necessary.  He says we don’t want to put the game above the lives of the people He created. However, he then says, “But he has called us to play this game 100 percent without fear or hesitation to His glory, and as long as we do that within the rules, I believe that in His eyes He is pleased with what we are doing.”  The catch in this statement is by what rules is Atogwe playing.  The rules he refers to are the rules of football, but if they are applied in a wooden way, without judgement, then following the rules will violate the biblical requirement to love your neighbor.  There seems to be one set of rules used for football, and another for before and after the game.

That said – if you love football and are wondering how faith is lived out in the lives of the players and their families, this would be a good easy read.

(I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)