This picture was taken during the last class of the last day I taught in China (June 21st). My Chinese co-teacher asked if I minded using class time to watch the end of the live game 7 of the NBA finals as there were only three minutes left.

June 2013 015

Would I mind?

Um, how to answer without making a fool of myself?

Apparently I am not the only “fool for the love of the game” as you can see that every single student was engaged. And it wasn’t fake engagement. These kids knew the players better than I do. It was a magical and unexpected end to my teaching career in China.

Last week I shared the first sports movie I remember loving which might lead those who are not sporties (hey, if there are foodies, why not sporties) wondering WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Excuse me while I calm myself. OK, I’m back.

Simply put, four reasons will suffice, but as you know by now, I could go on and on.

1. Teamwork–sports are communal. Team mates, coaches, and trainers encourage one another, hold one another accountable, and support one another. All that “one anothering” reminds me of Someone’s focus on one another.

2. Victory is not a given–in most sports movies victory does come, but only after two hours of slugging it out. I find the same in my own life, I do experience victory in many different fashions, but not without a much larger portion of my time spent slugging it out in the messiness of life. I bet you do too.

3. Long term perspective encouraged–Sports involve the process of practicing in private, practicing in public (games, meets and events), and if you’re good at your craft, a tournament or championship. The story is built small decision and commitment by small decision and commitment. The season doesn’t consist of one person, one practice, or even one game. Can it be influenced by any of those? Sure, just like your life or mine. But the long term perspective calls to us to think bigger.

4. REDEMPTION–by far the reason I return to sports movies again and again is that I leave with a gust of redemption blown into my soul. The jerk changed his (or her) ways. Races experienced some level of moving towards each other. Bigger doesn’t always win. Team mates learn to work with and then support those different from themselves. Heartache is faced and overcome. It is a taste of Eden Regained, of who we were meant to be this side of heaven, of who we will more purely be when we are back to ourselves, our real selves. 

I’ve written about my 15 favorite sports movies (does the phrase “toe pick” bring back memories?) yet this post was getting ridiculously long and if sports movies have taught me nothing else, it’s knowing when to cue the music, cut to some pretty scenery, and let the emotions flow.


What movie genre is your favorite?  I’m not a zombie person, but one of my friends is and I’ve got a guest post about it later this week, stay tuned. What phrase from a movie rings in your head?


Leave A Comment

  1. Debbie Marshall July 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    “…I hope to see my friend again, I hope … I hope” from the end of Shawshank Redemption

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      Amy July 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Oh that was a good movie too! Hard to watch, but powerful!

  2. Erika July 26, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I too am a sports movie fan. I really enjoyed sharing with my students this year why being on a team and working and playing hard together mean so much more than the skills learned. Sports really are a great metaphor for life!

    This is amazing that you watched the last part of the NBA finals–it reminds me of when the state tournament (of any sport) was being televised during school–a big deal since at no other time were high school sports televised. You always knew who the teachers were who would let you watch it (and yes, I turned into one of those teachers–at the end of the period at least!).

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      Amy July 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      We did need to be quiet with our cheering! Not easy as there were so many of us and the feelings ran so deep :)

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