Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I watched Bill Belichick give his press conference after the Patriot's loss to the Jets on Sunday night and felt a heavy sadness for him. Even though I was hoping the Jets would win so Pittsburgh would have home field advantage and Aliquippa's Darrelle Revis could have another homecoming (only to lose to the team he grew up cheering for), I still felt bad for Belichick. Not because the Pats lost, but because in the NFL, it seems the only thing that makes you or your team worth anything is winning a Championship: the Superbowl. Anything short of that, being a division leader, winning a division championship or a conference championship is practically considered failure compared to winning the Big Game. Teams that fall short dejectedly go home, confounded by thoughts that they should have won, they were robbed of their right to advance, that winning was their destiny but now they going to have to try-try-again next year, or so it seems at least.

I tried to imagine that Bill should have been happy that his Patriots had such a strong season and they got to play their favorite game and make money doing it. But he would probably get fired for that kind of thinking because franchise owners don't just want their players and coaches to have fun. They want to win it all! They need to employ coaches and players who want nothing less.

I'll speak for myself; there is a danger of adopting that attitude with the CCM business. "The Industry". And it is a danger. While I have a drive to succeed, to excel and be excellent with the talents that God has given me, I cannot place my value in whether or not I "win the championship." Maybe that means a Dove nomination, Dove Award, Grammy nod or Grammy Award. Are you kidding me? For a short amount of time, I get to provide for my family by writing, recording and performing songs that exalt the name of Jesus as the Lord of all! Don't for a second think that MercyMe are CCM's Dallas Cowboys that I have to defeat. Nor is Third Day our Atlanta Falcons. Brandon Heath is not Tennessee's Titan. I am not the Steelers. For better or for worse, we are ONE TEAM. Maybe some of us are the QB and some of us are the left guard, maybe we're sitting on the bench. But we all have a role and for some reason (and for a short season) God has seen fit to draft us on his "English Music on the Radio" team, so to speak. But He does not need us. We may get cut, we may go the way of Brett Farve and play for a very long time in the spotlight.

But we are on the same team!

...Except for Hunter Smith from Connersvine. He actually plays for the Redskins. I never thought this analogy could break down so badly.


Dan Gross said...

Ha, in Hunter the exception proves the rule! Maybe he'll get a Dove award to go with his Super Bowl ring (from his days w/ the Colts). Sadly he isn't on the Redskins any more (cut after a botched hold on an extra point try in December), but maybe another team will pick him up for next year!

That aside you say some excellent things. Brenton Brown talks of the reticence of promoting himself as a concern over the perception (even internal) of putting his name above other names. http://www.brentonbrown.com/blog/2010/08/17/the-elephant-in-the-room/ But as you say here it's not about being better than X it's about being the best you that you can be. When it comes to sales of merch & fannies in the chairs you're not just "battling" w/ other Christian artists, you're "battling" with everything that people spend their discretionary dollars on, which includes things that might not be in a person's eternal best interest.

Good to hear your take on it (even if it includes sympathy for Belichick in the process ;) and not surprisingly I enjoy and agree whole-heartedly with it! :)

Aaron Shust said...

Well, there you go. See, people get cut. People lose jobs, JOB chapter one happens. How's that for a bumper sticker? I do remember that play making the highlight reel that week. Didn't know he got cut. :(

I'll have to read that brenton blog. He's a wise owl.

Thanks Dan.