Contracts, new jobs, difficult situations, working behind the scenes, slander, forgiveness.
Some of that sounds like what people deal with on a regular basis, but those things were evident in the world of sports this past week.
* The first concerns New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a committed Christian, who is hoping to get a long term contract worked out with the Saints. Nothing has been resolved so far, though. When thinking about this, a lot of people could pass this off as greedy athletes. But, why not pass it off as greedy owners? Because we think of things one-sided at times, what we should recognize it as is a disagreement and, well, disagreements have to be worked out. Unfortunately, Brees and the Saints have to work out their disagreements in the public eye. For more on the story, click here.
* NHL star Jordan Staal, NASCAR points leader Matt Kenseth, and high school football star Drew Davis will be in new surroundings soon. Staal and Davis sooner than Kenseth, but nonetheless all three will have new digs soon.
All three have different circumstances as to why they will have new surroundings; Staal was traded, Kenseth is leaving his current team willfully, and Davis is going from high school to college.
Of the three, Davis’ move caught my attention first. He will be a walk-on on the University of North Carolina’s football team, the same team that his dad, Butch Davis, coached before being fired about a year ago. To be honest, that would be tough to do, but the Davis’ seem to understand forgiveness.
”We’re parents,” Butch Davis told reporters. ”As much as anything else, you want what’s best for your child. This is what he wishes to do and we’re going to support him.”
”I think he was concerned about how we’d feel,” said mom, Tammy Davis, to reporters. ”But we just kept reiterating that it was his decision.”
For more on the Davis’ story, click here.
Staal, who has been featured in Sports Spectrum along with his hockey playing brothers and also his mom and dad, didn’t have a choice in his move. He was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who he helped to a Stanley Cup title in 2009, to the Carolina Hurricanes, who won in 2006, and will join his brother, Eric. For more on that trade, go here.
Kenseth, who was featured in Sports Spectrum in 2009, is set to leave Roush Racing despite having a remarkable season. For more on his move, read the story here.
* Extortion is a strong word, but it happens even in the world of sports. I can’t understand why someone would do it to a person they know when that person is a high-profile athlete with the clout to get the attention of law enforcement authorities.
Well, it happened to recent Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, the former Baylor football quarterback who was drafted by the Washington Redskins. Richard Hurd, 25, was arraigned Monday for allegedly saying he would release ”derogatory information” about Griffin unless Griffin paid him a ”substantial sum.”
The only sense I can make of something like that is that we live in a fallen world. Sin happens. It’s not an excuse, but we shouldn’t be surprised.
For more on the situation, click here.
* I saved the best for last because, well, I just did.
Even though I was rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder (I know, I’m supposed to be impartial, but no one is. I am at least admitting it) because of Kevin Durant, the Miami Heat did have other people besides LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh who helped them win the NBA title. Miami Heat reserve Norris Cole helped the trio. Why am I telling you this? Because he’s a strong believer. For a good story on him, click here.
— U.S. track star Allyson Felix tied for third in the 100 meters at U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials. A coin flip or run-off could decide if she runs the 100 in London, though. Read here for more.
— Heather Dorniden Kampf made the women’s 800-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials after surviving prelim and semifinal rounds. Although she finished seventh overall and didn’t make the team, this inspirational video (when she was in college at Minnesota) will get your competitive juices flowing.
World high jump champion Jesse Williams made the Olympic team even though he placed fourth at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials Monday.
He had the Olympic “A” standard, so even though he wasn’t in the top three at the trials he made the U.S. Olympic team.
The weather was cold and rainy, which contributed to the low marks by all of the high jumpers (the top four all jumped 7-feet, 5 3/4 inches, but tie-breakers determined their individual places, 1-4).
In the press tent, though, Williams was talking about Christ in a very bold way.
“Praise the Lord for allowing me to go to London,” Williams said. “The Lord Jesus calmed me down as I was technically not doing what I should. If I am on my game, I can do well as I am in great shape.”
Four Winds Christian Athletes and Sports Spectrum correspondent Liz McConkey is at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials reporting.
Read Brett Honeycutt’s “Airing it Out” column in Sports Spectrum magazine, and follow him on Twitter – @Brett_Honeycutt