Reflection on themes of game and challenge: inspired by Superbowl Sunday

Inspired by a collection of scriptures on triumph and defeat, athletic strength and resilience, running the race, being present to the challenges of life and faith.

Classic poets’ commentaries on challenges, in honor of the Superbowl.
Excerpted from an article by Barbara Mossberg, HuffPost.

A moody child and wildly wise
Pursued the game with joyful eyes
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet

One equal temper of heroic hearts
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

On Football & Superbowl

The Super Bowl is Americana at its most kitsch and fun. — Sting

Every game I’ve ever played, whether it was pre-season or Superbowl, meant the same to me and I laid it all on the line. — Brette Favre

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. — Vince Lombardi

The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It’s part of our culture, like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays — beyond their meaning — a factor in our economy. — Bob Schieffer, ‘More Than Just a Game’

It’s ridiculous for a country to get all worked up about a game—except the Super Bowl, of course. Now that’s important. — Andy Rooney, “Baseball haters—but good sports.” Chicago Tribune

You may not win the Super Bowl. Your kids may not go on to be doctors and lawyers and everything may not go perfectly. That doesn’t mean it was a bad plan or the wrong thing. It’s just like a football season. Everything’s not going to go perfect.— Tony Dungy

I don’t think there is anything wrong with a man who wants to give credit to the Lord, but I don’t think the team with the most Christians on it is necessarily going to win. The Lord may be helping their characters and souls, but I don’t think he’s any more for the Dodgers than he is for the Braves. More than being concerned with who’s going to win the Super Bowl, I feel the Lord is probably more concerned that they might find a day other than Sunday to play it on.— Billy Graham, Sports Illustrated

Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors. — Frank Gifford, Sports Illustrated

Football is not a contact sport; it’s a collision sport. Dancing is a good example of a contact sport. — Duffy Daugherty, The Los Angeles Times

In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are. — Arnold H. Glasow

If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out. — Chuck Noll, Head Coach: Pittsburgh Steelers

Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done. — George Allen, Head Coach: Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins 

Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish. — Herm Edwards, Head Coach: New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs 

Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it. —George S. Halas, Head Coach: Chicago Bears

Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. — Vince Lombardi, Head Coach: Green Bay Packers