Turn over the Table

My fraternity at K-State had a tradition of freshman taking upperclassmen by force, into the showers on their birthday. These attacks were done at anytime during the day or evening of that birthday and most everyone involved ended up soaking wet in their clothes.

One October evening at supper, the freshmen started to rush towards an upperclassman that I happened to be sitting next to, in one corner of the dining hall. There were only four of us at this round table that could hold six people. As the freshmen got close to where we were, I grabbed the edge of the table and threw it up in the air towards the freshmen. Everything on the table went flying towards the oncoming freshmen, food, utensils, drinks, bowls of food and our plates with food on them went flying. As the breakable plates and bowls hit the floor they shattered. Water and tea from our glasses and the pitchers went everywhere. The birthday boy then ran out a door that was behind us and I followed him, because I knew I was going to be in trouble.

The leaders of the fraternity, the president and the vice-president and all those types were angry at me. The freshmen, who were assigned clean up duty of the dining hall, were angry at me. The adults, who were our advisors, when they heard about it, were not only angry at me; they wanted me to pay for the broken dishes and wanted me out of the fraternity house.

Jesus turned over some tables at the place of worship one day. He made the powers that be angry at him. So angry in fact, for ruining their business deals, that it was one of the things that led to his death on the cross.

In my situation, when the leaders came to me and told me what might happen to me, I told them the freshmen should not have done this at supper. I told them the upperclassmen always fight being thrown in the shower and the table most likely would have been turned over by them anyway. After they thought about it, at our next meeting we passed a rule where the freshmen could not attack any upperclassmen in the dining hall, and I received a stern warning.

Matthew 21: 12-13 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them, it is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

Sometimes we need to turn over the tables to start something new.

Offside Penalty

Several years ago I was broadcasting a girl’s basketball game on the radio. One of the girl’s names on our opponent’s team was familiar to me. I asked my broadcast partner, “You don’t suppose this is Ted’s daughter, that guy we used to play football against?”

I then asked my partner if he remembered this one particular play from that game thirty years before? My partner said he didn’t remember any particular play. So I said the two middle linebackers on that team were big guys. One was 6’1” and 235 and the other was 6’3” and 235. The bigger one kept trying to time the snap count and go between the guard and center gap on most every play.

On one particular play the linebacker went back about 7 or 8 yards to get a running head start to go along with his snap count guess. The quarterback realized what the linebacker was doing and didn’t give the final “hut” and just kept quiet. That big old linebacker just kept coming anyway and hit the center head on and with a forearm shiver stood the center straight up. He then pushed the center into the quarterback and wrapped both of them up in his arms. Then he drove them into the ground with the quarterback landing on his back, the center between them with the linebacker on top.

My broadcast partner starts laughing and said yes, he remembered that play. About 5 minutes later this big guy is standing in front of us as we are trying to call the ball game. He is yelling at me, “What are you saying about me on the radio?” I suddenly recognized him as I took off my headset and said, “Ted, I am Tim McGonagle.” Ted immediately smiles and says, “Hey man, how are you?” I asked my broadcast partner to take off his headset and give it to Ted and asked Ted to sit down and talk to me for a minute or two.

I quickly told him the story I just told on the air and he starts laughing. He said he remembered it just like I told it. I told him the next week at school when our coach showed us the film, he kept running the film back and forth, back and forth and we were all just laughing. Ted said the same thing happened at their school. So after a short visit we shook hands and he took off to finish watching his daughter play basketball.

At the end of your life, when you’re in that box, at your final party we call your funeral. You will only have three things left with you; your faith, your family and your friends. I pray that your life is abundant, with all three.

Growing Pains

It is called growing pains for a reason. As you grow as a child some have physical pain from growing so quickly. As you grow mentally and spiritually into an adult there are other growing pains to experience. The death of loved ones is a long lasting pain. The loss of a loved one in a romantic situation is another kind of pain. The experience of leaving home after high school may be painful.

Football practice is also a place to experience growing pains. Football practice at times is just plain uncomfortable. Weightlifting is of course a painful thing, the day after a heavy workout.

The idea of putting ourselves into painful situations in order to grow as a person is almost a lost concept today. We are all about the next pleasure and what’s in it for me and because of it; we are becoming a weak nation.

Who in our nation today experiences difficulty? The immigrant, the poor, the disadvantaged, those who join the military, small acreage farmers and ranchers and dare I say, those high school kids who go out for football. These are people that have been raised or exposed to harsh conditions and taught that life is tough, sometimes not fair and the strong survive.

As a Christian are you still growing? Do you ever feel uncomfortable? Do you ever feel the pain of growing? Do you go to church once a week in your comfortable environment and feel you have done your weekly duty after an hour? Where as a Christian should you feel the growing pain?

During repentance or confession, when you truly humble yourself and ask to be forgiven, you should feel weakness that turns into strength. That weakness to strength thing is a growing pain.

Daily prayer is painful at times, because you should do it in the quiet times of life. That will be before everyone gets up or after everyone goes to bed in your house. It is painful to miss out on sleep.

Bible reading of course is on our list. Many people have told me how difficult the Bible is to read. To big a book, to long a book, to boring, don’t have time to read, don’t like to read and all those excuses sound so painful, like growing pains that you don’t want any part of.

Do you ever fast from food? Spiritual fasting involves turning away from evil and turning back to God, but the lack of food can be difficult on the body. John Wesley was very famous for fasting. His main fast was from sundown on Thursday night until Friday at 3:00 p.m. Try that just one day next week. My guess is you will feel some pain on Friday.

I challenge you to continue to grow this next week and may it be painful.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In the Name of Love

Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King, Jr.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed up on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

John 15:18 If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.


The Goal

The main goal of the game of football is to score touchdowns and win the game. Over the past 100 years, how we arrive at the end zone has changed many times. Different schemes, plays, ideas and the game changes every year, but the main goal is to score touchdowns.

The main goal of life is holiness on this earth now, while we live our lives. What is holiness? Some think to be holy you have to be the preacher or the priest. Some think we must give up all the fun things we do.

Holiness is surrendering to the will of God. Therefore, it is knowing right from wrong and saying yes to God in all areas of our lives. When you see holiness in someone else you recognize it and you want to be around them.

For me in my life, two of the men who inspired me to be a Christian, were a couple of my high school football coaches. They both were very straight forward tough men, but they also helped lead our Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization. You would also find them in church every Sunday morning. They led us by the example of how they lived their lives.

I have also been fortunate to be around other holy men, over the course of my life, a Methodist preacher, two Catholic priests and an Episcopal priest, that have encouraged me to seek and serve God.

Let us remember that holiness is something God does to us while we are doing the will of God. Just like the game of football that continues to change, so our lives also change. We grow and we think differently, but holiness is still the goal.

2 Timothy 1:9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.


Which Team?

Several years ago, I left the press box to go down onto the field, before pregame time, to talk to a college friend, who was an assistant coach on our opponent’s team. After we had talked for a few minutes I asked him what he thought about the game we were about to play? He said, “You guys are going to kick our butts.” There were two other coaches standing there listening to our conversation, from the opponents team, and they took exception to what their fellow coach had said and they said so with anger in their voices. My friend answered them back, “You guys are too young and blind to see that our kids don’t want to be in this game and are not mentally prepared to play in this game.” My team won the game about 40-0.

I can’t count, how many times over the years, I have heard a coach or another sportscaster, newspaper writer, fan say, when asked a question about their team, they will answer with the following, “Depends on which team shows up tonight.”

A football team takes on their own personality. Sometimes they are focused and ready to play. Other times they may not be ready to play. The kids may have their minds on other things. Sometimes half the team is ready and half aren’t ready to play that night. The football team that is not one at heart, but has a split personality will struggle in the game.

In our own personal lives, are we living our lives with divided personalities? My guess is most of us, do that. We have the life we live at school and that personality. Then at home around our mothers, father and grandparents, we live and talk differently. When we are at church, we act differently, than at our work or at our play.

Speaking of our football teams, if we can get all the players on the same page, with an attitude of one focus and that is the game for the next couple of hours, we usually have got something special to behold.

In your own lives, if we did not compartmentalize our life and instead focused our entire life around one specific goal or set of beliefs, what kind of life do you think you would be living?

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord; that I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name.

Final Rankings November 29, 2017

The final rankings for the year have been tabulated and the overall Grand Champion of high school football in our great state of Kansas is Bishop Miege. The Stags of Bishop Miege defeated Blue Valley North 33-14 in the fourth week of the regular season and BVN won the class 6A championship. The third week of the season Miege defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 27-14 and the Saints took second in class 5A football in the championship game to Bishop Carroll.

Now personally, I voted for Bishop Carroll to be the runner up to Bishop Miege in the overall Super 10 vote. The Kansas Media Ranking Team put Blue Valley North in second place in the Super 10 and Bishop Carroll in third place. I would have liked to seen Bishop Miege and Bishop Carroll square off in one more game.

It has been a good football season with some surprises and that always makes things way more interesting in the game of high school football.

Things now turn to basketball and wrestling and I hope the football players of the state are doing those sports. If not, then it is time to lift weights. The new center for next fall…….needs to start snapping the ball to the new quarterback now. The new long snapper needs to be learning the art of long snapping. The punters and kickers could be practicing right now on nice weather days. Receivers and quarterbacks need to be throwing the ball at each other. Play all types of games in the game of catch. One handed catches, behind the back catches, below the belt catches, over the top of your head catches as you face away from the thrower. I am sure you can think of many more things to do to get yourself ready for next fall.

One final thought for you, is go to the bottom of the rankings page and see who is on our Kansas Media Ranking team, look them up online and call or email or snail mail them a thank you, we couldn’t do this without them.

The final rankings are linked in right here.

Sabetha Triumph and Tragedy

Saturday Sabetha defeated Marysville in the state championship football game. That evening the Bluejays were dealing with the death of 3 members of one family of two of their teammates.

Topeka Capital Journal story is here.

Another story with picture of mom with her two sons here.

Sabetha Funeral Home Popkess Mortuaries

As the football community of Kansas, we should respond with cards and letters to those boys.

Sabetha Pre-Practice Prayer

Beautiful picture of the Sabetha High school football team
praying before practice (as they do before every practice) with a
gorgeous sunset behind them. Most teams (though not all) pray after
games at the 50, but these guys have taken it upon themselves to pray
before every practice.