Lessons from the gridiron
FREE Catholic Classes
To begin with, you probably remember the classic Southern Cal-Notre Dame game a couple of years ago. The Irish had the game all but won, but a last-second effort by Southern Cal scored the touchdown that provided a miracle victory. Of course, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was disappointed, all the more so because a couple of non-calls by the officials were critical to the game's outcome. Still, he was determined to turn his disappointment into a teaching moment, as the Associated Press reported: "He told his 12-year-old son, Charlie Jr., he wanted them to walk over to the USC locker room to congratulate them on their win. 'I just wanted to let them know that I had respect for their team and the way they played and I thought that they showed a lot of character to go back and win that game,' he said. 'I thought it was a good lesson for my son.'"
Good lesson, indeed.
Then there's the case of Darryl Stingley. Remember him? He was an outstanding receiver for the New England Patriots until a vicious hit by defender Jack Tatum of the Oakland Raiders not only ended his career, but left him paralyzed. That was back in 1978 (during an August pre-season game) and he spent the rest of his life as a paraplegic. He was only 55 when he died on April 5 of this year.
Tatum was known for his rough style, and on the play in question he slammed into Stingley with his helmet after the receiver had caught a pass. The National Football League took no action at the time (there was not even a penalty on the play, incredibly enough), but subsequently tightened its rules.
That was small comfort to Stingley, who never talked with Tatum after the incident. According to Stingley's obituary in The New York Times, written by Frank Litsky, Tatum always defended himself. "This is the way the game is played," he said.
Stingley held no grudge, however. He kept focusing on the positive, concluding that, in order to adapt to a new way of life, he had to learn to forgive.
Ironically, Tatum developed serious physical problems of his own; diabetes led to the amputation of a leg below the knee. Still, the Times' obituary continued, Stingley refused to find a sense of justice in that news.
"You can't, as a human being, feel happy about something like that happening to another human being," Stingley said. "Maybe the natural reaction is to think he got what was coming to him, but I don't accept human nature as our real nature. Human nature teaches us to hate. God teaches us to love."
In the midst of tragedy, Darryl Stingley found the greatest lesson of all. And to his eternal credit, he wanted to be sure that the rest of us got it as well.
- - -
Dennis Heaney is president of The Christophers
- - -
For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, "Positive Attitude, Positive Choices," write: The Christophers, 12 East 48th St., New York, N.Y. 10017; or e-mail: email@example.com.
Dennis Heaney - ,
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Friday, June 28th, 2019 HD Video
- Portland diocese to engage third-party system for reporting ethics ...
- Earn your certificate! 'The Knights Templar' course goes live 6/27!
- Daily Reading for Thursday, June 27th, 2019 HD Video
- Doctors promised disabled woman 'new doll' after planned forced abortion
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, June 26, 2019
- St. Anthelm: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, June 26, 2019
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, June 24th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.