Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Veritas can learn from Michigan Football.

I love University of Michigan football. This is no surprise to anyone who knows me even a little. If there is a game on TV there is a 95% chance I am watching it. If I am not watching it the DVR is running. I’ve had a guy who was in the marching band at Michigan admire my fandom.

Last year Michigan was horrid. They hired a new coach to bring in the spread offense system. This ran upstream while swimming backwards into the tradition of Michigan football. Going into the year they lost four key players to the NFL draft. One of which was the number one pick. Then they had others like Ryan Mallet who transfered because of the shift to the new spread system.

The team had three wins - nine losses. Worst season in a one hundred plus year program. They sucked. They sucked bad. They did beat Wisconsin which was nice for me here in Milwaukee to at least hang a hat on that. It was bad year to be a Wolverine.

But three games into the season this year they are playing much better and have already matched their win total from last year. They also have a legitimate shot at bowl eligibility and maybe more.

What changed? There was some coaching shifts but the system remained the same. The major thing that changed was personnel. They got this freshman in to play QB named Forcier. He has played in the spread system all through high school he knows how to play the system. He has been a difference maker. The rest of the team has also had time to adapt to the system. They understand the new system better. They have had time to shift their thinking from one way of doing things to another. Because they understand the new system better and they have had time together to practice it they are executing it more effectively.

I think in our adventures with Veritas we are introducing a new system. We didn’t start with an established team. Everybody is new to this system. Some of the people used to the old system that thought they were interested in something new have transferred or come for a visit and chose another “school.” It takes a special people to run a system that swims upstream. I feel like we are only playing about 5% of the playbook. God hasn’t let us see the rest of it yet.

We are past our one year anniversary. We didn’t make a big deal about it. No need to. We are in a new season. We haven’t had many wins but we have had some and we will build on those. When all seemed lost with the Apollo 13 mission most people were looking at all the problems and seeing failure. Gene Kranz looked at all the problems and said, “This could be our finest hour.”

We as a church can look at all of our problems and see failure. Michigan could have looked at a three win season and said the system doesn’t work. Or we can choose to look at where we are and see the potential. “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.” 2 Cor. 4:18

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