The “Man of The Hour” has been defined as a person who is the center of attention for a specific reason. Well, I have a good candidate for this noble honor to offer to you today -- for one hour back on January 7, 2019, immediately following the 2018-2019 National Championship football game that took place in Santa Clara, California.
With millions of people tuned in from all over the world, Clemson University head football Coach Dabo Swinney gave glory to God and to Jesus Christ for their win, making his Tigers the only team in history to finish the season as National Champions with a perfect 15-0 record.
To be honest, I did not think they would win and I was pulling for Alabama, because they are in our Southeast Conference. But according to Dabo, “Only God can do this and that’s a fact.” To be sure, I am not the only one who was thrilled at what he said during the post-game interview, because he left no doubt about his priorities and said some things that every American, and especially those in the sports world, needed to hear. In a day when we have lost our moral compass and are being swallowed alive by the secular culture, God came through by having one of His own remind us of the Gospel truth.
In an article in The Christian Post, following what was his team’s second National Championship in three years, the 49-year-old didn’t mince words about who he thought was responsible for the blowout victory against Alabama, his alma mater. Dabo stated, “A guy like me, I said this two years ago, can’t write a Hollywood script, only God can do this. And that is a fact. People think I’m crazy or quacky or whatever, but only God can orchestrate this.”
Swinney was also asked in his post-game interview about how he describes the “joy” he felt at the moment. He said, “That’s been my (joy) all year and I have had to be intentional with that. For me personally, joy comes from focusing on Jesus, others and yourself. There are so many great coaches that are so deserving of a moment like this that never get the chance to experience it. To get to do it once and now get to do it again, it’s a blessing. It’s simply the grace of the good Lord to allow us to experience something like this.”
Well, to be sure, I am grateful for what he had to say, and there are probably several million other people who are grateful as well, because so many young people look up to coaches at all levels, and especially a coach who has twice won the coveted National Championship. Sometime later I ran across a quote by Dabo that I used in my “Moments” feature that is managed by our local newspaper, The Log Cabin Democrat. He said, “A coach can win, win, win, but unless he equips young men to be great husbands and fathers, he loses.”
My friend, what I have just said is the reason I am writing this column, because this is where we have dropped the ball in far too many cases. A coach in any sport who curses a blue streak, yells at and berates his players, is not equipping them to be good husbands and fathers or even good people, and is a very, very poor role model. To be sure, I am an eternal optimist. I love and believe in people and I believe with all my heart that Jesus is the answer to save our Soul and can help any of us become a better person. Dabo and I share the same values and the same Lord, I thank God for him. Next time I will be pulling for his team.