Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kurt Warner; Team Leadership on His Knees

Last Sunday (September 29th) the New York Jets destroyed my Arizona Cardinals. But that’s not newsworthy. In fact, based on quite a bit of history, a Cardinals loss isn’t very unexpected.

The attention-getting play of the game happened with only 27 seconds remaining when Anquan Boldin tried to catch a pass from Kurt Warner in the end zone. He was hit hard from behind then an instant later took a head-on, helmet-to-helmet hit from Jets’ safety Eric Smith. They both went down and while Smith was stunned, Boldin was unconscious.

The wonderful and amazing thing about watching this happen was the transformation of a crowd. They morphed from ardent fans of one team to concerned human beings for a fallen athlete. Everyone was on their feet and watching quietly to see if this man would get up—on the field, or ever again.

Even more astounding was the instant transformation of the players on both teams. Men who had been vigorously competing against each other only moments before were talking in hushed tones and embracing.

Then—as millions watched on TV, an enormous huddle formed and dozens of large, tough football players went down on their knees, an uneven integration of team colors. Warner, the Cardinals’ quarterback, was near the center leading this group of humble stars in a prayer for their injured brother. Team leadership was never more clearly demonstrated than in that instant.

Boldin reportedly has no long-term injuries. Smith was suspended for one game and fined $50,000 for a “flagrant violation of player safety rules.” All’s well that end’s well, right?
Sure, but the outcome could have just as easily been much worse. Just another reminder of how tenuous life is…for all of us, not just football players and fighter pilots.

I hope Boldin is deeply aware of this and lives the rest of his life with outward evidence of an attitude of gratitude. None of us fully knows how near we’ve been to life-altering circumstances and how many times we’ve been spared. Do you think about it? Are you grateful each day?

I hope also that Boldin (and his teammates) appreciate the strong, servant-leader they have at their helm. If I ever find myself knocked flat on my back, I know there are members of my team of loved ones who will ask everyone to huddle up, take a knee and do the only thing they can: pray. In front of God and everyone else watching.
Diane Markins
Watch the clip on You Tube at


Maggie said...

What a great reminder to remember and refocus on the importance of prayer and the value of others in our lives.

webservant said...

Brilliant and uplifting post, Diane. Enjoyed the YouTube link, too. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great Story...went to the blog not sure how to post a comment...don't tell my kids they would be embarassed :) After reading the story I couldn't help thinking if we turned on CNN one morning. There on the steps on the Capital building were senators and congressman kneeling and praying for our country like they did after 9/11! Then I would know that a II Chronicles 7:8 revival would start in Amercia! Sue P.

Rebel said...

Great illustration for us sports fans! Too often we only hear or see the negative of these professional players. What a blessing to see one take a step of faith and lead others to the cross.

Thank you for sharing and for reminding us to be thankful for each moment we have and not to take each breath for granted.