Well, it's official. The coach of my favorite football team, Art Briles, is leaving UH to become Baylor's coach. Reportedly, he will sign a contract promising him $1.8 million for seven years. I know it would be hard to turn that kind of money down. But I have to tell you, this hurts. Briles has just led my Cougars to their fourth bowl game in five years. It seemed like he was right on the verge of making Houston a really strong program. Plus, I've met him on several occasions, and he is a genuinely great guy. I'm more attached to him than I've ever been to a coach of any sport, ever. And now he's gone...just like that.
A couple of ironic things about this, for me personally:
1. I almost went to Baylor myself. My senior year of High School, I applied to two colleges: Baylor and UH. I prayed diligently that God would lead me to the right decision--it was really the first such big decision I had ever made on my own. I figured--as a good Baptist--God wanted me to go to Waco. To my surprise, the more I prayed about it, the more UH felt like the right place. Fifteen years later, it clearly was the right decision for me...for one thing, I met Carrie there.
2. Just this past Sunday, I used my support of UH sports as an illustration in my sermon "Spiritual Vision" (Here's the link for sermon audio or text: http://www.wbchouston.org/271568.ihtml). I made the point that it was silly to take football so seriously when there are much more important things in life. My wife, my children, my church, my health, my friends and my relationship with God are all such blessings, and they aren't impacted one bit by whether or not my favorite team wins a game. So win or lose, I shouldn't get all worked up either way...if I do, maybe I need to find a new hobby. I said all that...and then three days later, this happens.
So now I get to practice what I just got through preaching. Funny how that works, huh?