Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Doing things the right way

Tony Dungy was asked what it was like being one of the first two black head coaches in the Super Bowl. His response:

"It's great. Lovie and I are proud to be a part of that and to know that we're going to have an African American Super Bowl champion coach for the first time. Even more than that, I'm just happy that the country can see that two Christian coaches can go and take their team to the highest level and do things the right way and still be successful. I think I'm as excited about that as the fact that we're going to have two African American coaches in the championship game."

Sports are well known for gruff coaches who preach win-at-all-cost, believe nothing else in the world is more important, and breathe fire down their players backs all the time. Berating players with a chorus of profanities is considered to be part of the game.

Tony wants us to notice that he didn't get to the top that way. As it was well documented during the game, he seldom raises his voice at his players, and certainly never uses any profanity. He keeps things poisitve and encouraging rather than negative and destructive. Some would say a person like that would never make it in football, but Tony has proven them wrong. Not only can you make it, you can thrive.

Friends, that's true in any profession. I was in construction for 16 years. About every other word from my superintendent's mouths was filth. Some building owners were no better. Even some of my church building committee members! The general thought was that to get a contractor or subcontractor's attention, you had to scream, berate, and cuss at them.

I never played by those rules. Naked lady calendars were not allowed in my job trailers. I used level-headed negotiation with my subcontractors to get them to perform. And I consistently got results.

I dare say there is not a single legitimate profession out there where it would be impossible to thrive while holding on to your morals and doing things the right, Christian way. Oh, you may run across some owners who may disapprove, even to the point of firing you for your refusal to lie to customers or clients, but I still say in the long run you can acheive success and gain respect without compromising your faith.

I encourage you today to stay in it for the long haul. It isn't easy to swim upstream. But, the Master is on your side, and all along the way you can hear Him saying, "Well done!"


Anonymous said...

Good post, Shane!

There have been a couple of articles recently in the mainstream media about how Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith should be identified more as followers of Christ, than as the first black head coaches to reach the Superbowl. To wit:

Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, pillars of gentle strength
It's character, not color, that separates Smith, Dungy

It's refreshing to see the Christian worldview portrayed in a positive, non-political light as a way that changes people and hearts.

Tim Jones

Anonymous said...

And one more that I forgot:
Beyond the Ultimate

Shane Coffman said...

Thanks, Tim. Those are great stories and testimonies, and I'm glad these men aren't afraid to let them be known.

Mike Morton said...

Amen, Shane.