Monday, February 10, 2014

The Big 12 and Angry Men

Marcus Smart is the preseason choice for player of the year in NCAA basketball. Unfortunately for OSU fans, he's about as far from this award as you can get right now. Things haven't been going according to the script he imagined in his mind (or my mind for that matter).

The stress had already started to show with kicking a chair in the West Virginia game and storming off the court.
It's just a game but in the heat of the moment,
it seems like so much more.  Doesn't it always?
On Saturday night, the stress once again got the better of him as he shoved Texas Tech fan, Jeff Orr, toward the end of the game.  No matter what Orr said to him, Smart definitely lost his cool.  Smart continued to rant at the official after he received a technical foul.  After a review of the situation, the Big 12 suspended Marcus Smart for three games.  He's probably lucky that he gets to play at all this season.

Both of the men were in the wrong and both have apologized to the other through public statements.

Marcus Smart said, "This was not how I was raised.  I let my emotions get the best of me."

Jeff Orr has voluntarily suspended himself from attending any more Texas Tech basketball games this season.

As we let our anger flow, sometimes we say things that would embarrass us if we saw them broadcast later on the internet.  If our anger causes us to "see red", violence can erupt which leads to later regret.

The consequences of Smart and Orr's actions were not considered by either of them before this confrontation at the end of the game.  I'm sure that if Jeff Orr could have seen the future, he would have kept his mouth shut.  He loves Texas Tech basketball games and has been declared a super-fan for his devotion.  It will be sobering for him to watch the next game from the couch.

Smart's actions have not only cost him basketball games but the respect of the nation. Quite probably, the shove has cost him a lot of money too as the NBA evaluates everything with a fine tooth comb.  He'll still play but his stock has taken a hit.  If you were a head coach, would you want to deal with a player with anger issues?

The good news is that no permanent injury happened in this altercation.  It should be a wake-up call for both men.  The even better news is that anger issues can be overcome.

As I find myself angry at times, maybe I'll think about this story before saying or doing something I'll later regret.

This Sunday, we will be continuing to explore the Sermon on the Mount with Matthew 5:21-37.  These particular verses deal with anger, adultery, divorce and oaths.  My sermon title will be "Reconciliation is Next to Godliness" and if you can't be present with us in Piedmont or Cashion, I'll post a link to the sermon here or you can subscribe to our Youtube page.

In Christ,


This song is lyrically one of my favorites from Billy Joel.  I have this album somewhere on vinyl.

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