Oscar Winning Performances, On and Off The Field (And Screen)

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Our lives and our years are scripted by God.  Unfortunately, we tend to go “off message” and unscripted and then must return and repent and rely again on the Almighty to direct us. The Director of our souls can make us up and write for us a new and novel original score that we can sing for Him. 

God is the best Director. But we need to memorize our lines. And our lines are His Words, because He wrote the best original screenplay ever.  It’s been called the Greatest Story Ever Told.  And so all of us could earn an Oscar for the roles we’ve played and mistakes we’ve made and the prayers we’ve prayed that were answered in dramatic fashion.

So, as the Oscars approach, let’s focus on what matters, and that is winning “An Oscar” for Him.

The following is re-posted from Bryan Altman,  http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/02/18/four-oscar-worthy-performances-in-the-world-of-sports/

“Best Original Screenplay/ Best Picture”

Much like the movies, certain games or seasons seem to follow the same old narrative and make us feel like we’re watching a rerun. Sometimes however, we’re shocked by a particular story line or plot point that arises during the year and it reminds us that life and sports can surprise us and prove to be stranger than fiction.

Here are the nominees…

Donald Sterling’s Conversation

Michael Sam’s NFL Journey

Super Bowl XLIX

Brazil vs. Germany World Cup Semi-Final

And the Oscar goes to… Super Bowl XLIX

The finale to the Super Bowl was one of those moments that you just cannot script. The dramatic drive to greatness by Tom Brady, the obscure corner back making the game-ending play, the mind-boggling decision, the last-minute fisticuffs – it was all just unbelievable. Seriously, the finale was so implausible that if someone pitched it to you as a movie, you would have ordered a psych evaluation and asked them to leave immediately.

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And by the way, the best sports movie of all time was, of course, Hoosiers.

Are You A Team Player?

MJ and Rodman

Michael Jordan didn’t win all of those championship rings by himself. He had help. Good help. And you know what they say about good help.  So why was Michael such a successful basketball player? Indeed, why was he soooooo successful?

MJ was the consummate team player.  Jordan knew that there is no “I” in team.  His whole mentality was to win, by any means necessary. If he needed to score, he would score. If he needed to dish out assists, he would get double-digit assists. If he needed to play suffocating “D”, he would do just that. Jordan was a team player.  Sounds spiritual to me.

But most importantly, since there is no “I” in team, Jordan knew how to use his teammates in their strengths.  MJ knew he couldn’t just score his way to the ultimate victory. There is so much more to winning then just scoring. He figured out how to get all of his teammates involved in every game. He learned how to blend and meld a diverse group of variously talented, vigorously temperamental, and victoriously trumpeted athletes together to form a truly great championship team. How about using these principles in our everyday Christian lives?

MJ wasn’t always a team player.  After leading the league in scoring but loosing year after year in the early rounds of the playoffs, or not making the playoffs at all, Jordan figured out that there is no “I” in team.  More than anything else, it was Jordan’s personality that transported the Bulls of the mid ‘90’s from good to great.  And an enormous impact was made by the untraditional Dennis Rodman, who gave the Bulls the dominant rebounder they lacked – and in concert with the singularly agile and versatile Pippen, and the six-man, Toni Kukoc, the team dominated the league. 

Jordan knew how to get along with, and yes, sometimes put up with, all of his teammates, including the red-headed Rodman. And as Christians, when we learn how to get along with each other, when we learn how to love each other, when we learn how to band together and remember that there is no “I” on the “church team,” we will dominate as well.

The Chicago Bulls were a band of team players.  Once they latched on to the notion that there is no “I” in team, the 1995-96 Bulls went on to post a 72-10 regular season record, the best ever, and they cut through the playoffs like a hot knife through butter.  They won the fourth championship for the franchise, en route to the first championship win in their second “three-peat.”

Phil Jackson coached this team of all-stars who were highly motivated and wanted to prove just how good they were.  They proved that there is no “I” in team.  They proved that the way to win is to be a team player. They proved that the way to win is “team, team, team.”  We have Gene Hackman to thank for that line (see Hoosiers).

Every believer should be a team player.  So what is a team player?  Or more precisely, how do you spot a team player? Here’s how.  A team player has:

 1.            A Desire to Win

2.            Knowledge of the Game and A Passion for the Game

3.            A Selfless Spirit (Does What Needs To Be Done)

4.            Knowledge of the Strengths and Weakness of His/Her Teammates

5.            Friends With Teammates On and Off the Court

 So, are you a team player?

Redemption

Hoosiers is the best sports film ever.  Period. End of discussion.  The themes of redemption, reconciliation and restoration shine through almost every scene.  If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this blog and watch it right now.  If you’ve seen it, watch it again.  It’s that good. Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film about a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. The story is set during 1951/1952, when all high schools in Indiana, regardless of size, competed in one state championship tournament. It is loosely based on the Milan High School team that won the 1954 state championship.

The film is the triumphant tale of a high school basketball team’s long-shot attempt to go from worst to first and is filled with edge-of your seat suspense, breathless excitement and heart-felt performances by Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hooper. Hoosiers is said to have redefined the sports movie with a realism and frankness that make you believe in this small town team and the small-town characters – and cheer for them over and over again. Continue reading