For those of us that live in the deep South SEC football may be just short of a religion. We know the teams, the players, the stadiums, and of course the coaches. We can recite the best plays from the best games for past decades, like one might cite a Bible verse or a favorite poem. We know the players, their recruiting rank and status, their best plays, their stats, and of course their hometowns. I remember hearing along the way the people outside the South think football is a life-or-death situation for us. They just don’t understand, it is way more important than that!
When I ran into this billboard in our hometown last week at first it took me back a little. Then I had a chance to reflect on the meaning, and of course Jesus is a Bulldog.
Everyone who is a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs (DAWGS) knows this to be a fact. Otherwise, why would Kirby Smart leave Alabama and come back home to coach in Athens? Was he led there like Moses wondering in the wilderness until he found the Promised Land? Could last year’s team make it all the way to the National Championship game without divine intervention? Could Kelee Ringo’s pass interception in the National Championship game (immaculate interception to some) even have happened without some help from above?
The obvious answer to all these is that God knew the Georgia faithful were starting to lose faith after forty years without a national championship victory. Like the chosen people of the Bible, they wandered in the wilderness for long enough to finally cross over the river into the Promised Land. They had come close on several occasions, but never finished the deal. They were like Moses standing on Mount Nebo where he could see the Promised Land but not go there. Perhaps the collective pleas from the Bulldog faithful were enough to finally push them into the Promised Land!
The billboard references Exodus 14:14 which reads:
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Can Georgia repeat as National Champions? We do not know, but we hope so. To have ten victories so far this season they have had to fight tigers, lesser bulldogs, ducks, chickens, alligators, mountaineers, and commodores. They only need to defeat some wildcats, bumble bees, and more tigers to be on a mountain top from where they can see the promised land once again.
Like the Bible says, we are being very still and looking for a sign. Is this billboard the sign?