View Mobile Site
  • Bookmark and Share

What do a Baptist deacon and your average football fan have in common?

POSTED: October 17, 2013 4:44 p.m.

The answer is simple. They’re both angry about what’s going on, and they’re going to fire someone to prove it.

Now I was raised Southern Baptist and I have spent many years of my life working in Southern Baptist churches, so please do not think I am picking on Southern Baptists because I hate them.

But if you’ve never been in that world, then you don’t quite know what I mean. However, the odds are good that you know a football fan or two who have the same response every time their team loses.

Well it’s the same reaction that most deacons have when things go wrong at their church. Or if the sky is cloudy. Really, it’s the same reaction all the way around.

"Oh, we’ve gotta fire the coach. Fire the owner. Fire the manager. Fire the concession stand guy! The ship is going down, and they’re going down with it!"

Most football fans, or sports fans in general, do not understand that sustained success is one of the hardest things in the world to attain, either in business or in sports. It is so much harder for a coach to last a long time with a team and make them successful than it is for someone new to come in, change things up and make a team move together.

That sounds backwards, but I have plenty of proof to back up my statement. Look at Urban Meyer of hated Florida fame, who is now the coach at Ohio State University after spending a year getting all the family time he needed.

Urban Meyer came in to Gainesville as one of the most highly touted coaches in the country. He had already found ample success at other low-end FBS schools like Bowling Green and Utah. He led Utah to their first BCS win and undefeated season in 2004, so of course he was a good choice to fill the vacant shoes of Ron Zook at Florida.

He proved the pundits right, too, when he won a national title in just his second year. He nearly won the SEC East in his first year after beating an undefeated, top five ranked Georgia team in Jacksonville, even if that team was missing all-SEC quarterback D.J. Shockley due to injury at the time.

In 2006 and in 2008, Urban Meyer’s Gators go 13-1, winning the SEC and the BCS National Championship Game. In 2009, though, they come up just short, losing the SEC game to eventual champion Alabama, and Urban Meyer announces his retirement, shocking the world.

He changed his mind the next day, sure, but he would eventually retire after his depleted and Tebow-less team had a less than great season in 2010. Why? Because he had nothing to change, and he could see the ship was sinking.

Change artists like Meyer create unity and passion on a team by creating change. Change is easy to get behind. It’s new, so people want to follow it, even if the only thing that has changed is the leader.

While Meyer did change the scheme around and redefine Florida football, the principle is still the same. He brought change, and people followed change.

Stability, though, requires something more. Stability requires someone willing to change things even though nobody else can see that it needs to change.

Stability requires risks.

Now we cannot afford to confuse stability with complacency. A complacent leader will sit around and just let things happen. A stable leader is someone who has been around long enough to know when his plans have to change.

Auburn University opted for a change artist in 2008 by firing Tommy Tuberville who had nearly won them a title in 2004. They brought in a man named Gene Chizik who, honestly, had not done much at Iowa State.

He changed the team, though, and he brought winning. But when his change faded away, Auburn was in shambles.

We cannot be complacent with poor leadership and weak-willed individuals, but we also cannot afford to mistake change for innovation. We cannot mistake something new for an easy button answer.

Sure, nobody likes to lose, but rash decisions in the name of progress are rarely right. Sometimes you have to get behind your leadership and just say, "We’re with you."

Dear deacons and fans of the world, aim for better than complacency. Aim for stability.



  • Bookmark and Share

No comments have been posted.



Login to post a comment encourages readers to interact with one another. We will not edit your comments, but we reserve the right to delete any inappropriate responses.

To report offensive or inappropriate comments, contact our editor.

The comments below are from readers of and do not necessarily represent the views of The Newspaper or Morris Multimedia.
You must be logged in to post comments. Login ›

  • There are no articles found.

No recent popular content found.


Contents of this site are © Copyright 2015 Barrow County News, Winder, Ga. All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...