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How 'bout Them Cowboys! 11/30/2007

Brett Favre

Despite some losses, Brett Favre is a winner.

I confess. Betty and I are die-hard Cowboys fans. Not only are they our home team, but we have enjoyed close friendships with many players and coaches, beginning in the Tom Landry era. I have been privileged to share Christ with many of the players. Some current and former Cowboys have graciously supported Mission Feeding and other outreaches.

So when it came time for last night's showdown between the Cowboys and Packers, both with incredible 10-1 records, we were thrilled to watch our team work their way to victory. But beyond the temporal excitement of a football game, there are many things we can learn from team competition. These principles translate across our lives, even into the spiritual realm.

Both the Cowboys and the Packers have experienced periods of defeat. Just last year, Green Bay's team was in the basement. People said that Brett Favre should retire. Dallas lost a heartbreaker in the first playoff game, as Tony Romo fumbled the snap on a short, game-winning field goal attempt. But neither of these team leaders, nor the rest of the players, resigned themselves to defeat. It has been said that "winners never quit and quitters never win." Indeed, the only way to overcome loss is to determine that you will not allow defeat to be the pattern for your life. Despite their letdowns, Tony Romo and Brett Favre are squarely in the camp of "winners."

In order to be a winner: you have to be able to handle defeat. Disappointment will come. Hard times are inevitable. In life, few people seem to have the necessary ingredients to be a winner and ultimately gain victory, Christians included. Many churchgoers believe that once they put their faith in God, they should be on "easy street." When challenges or conflicts arise, they collapse because they don't understand that they were actually engaging in the greatest, most competitive arena of all: a life of faith!

Some people passively sit it out. Once they do, they settle into a pit of defeat and even try to make themselves comfortable in it. But to enjoy life fully, you must get in the game and be prepared for a battle. You will face challenges. You will experience setbacks. You will be subject to a level of defeat. At the same time, you must decide to never, never, never give up. Always get up! Always stand up and fight with victory as the ultimate goal. There will be losses, but through Jesus Christ we will overcome the agony of defeat and know the ecstasy and joy of victory.

It is also important in team sports to have the right players in the right positions correctly relating to each another. On the football field, there is only one quarterback at a time. If Terrell Owens decided that he wanted to take charge instead of Tony Romo, chaos would ensue. The Cowboys would lose and T.O. would never catch a touchdown pass. Not only would the team suffer, but he would personally pay the price.

In life, we must each find our proper roles. The Cowboys' have a great tight end in Jason Witten. He has scored as many touchdowns as a wide receiver or running back. But the Cowboys have another tight end in lesser-known Anthony Fasano. While Witten runs a lot of pass routes, Fasano usually blocks. He is as important as anyone else on the team, but his glory comes when the team wins, not when he gets to do a dance in the end zone. Last night, his moment in the spotlight came as he caught his first career touchdown (and nearly his second). But next week, I can guarantee that when he is called on to block so that someone else can score a touchdown, he will gladly do it with all his strength. That's what makes Anthony Fasano a winner.

In the Christian life I've found you don't look for better players, but better prayers -- people who are committed to pray with you and for you. We all need people who will connect with us and help bear the load in difficult times. Brett Favre and Tony Romo would not be winners this year without their big, strong offensive linemen. In life, not everyone is a superstar. Some are spiritual lineman, grinding out tough battles every day for the cause of Jesus Christ. But when the time comes to pass out Super Bowl rings, everybody gets one.

In all aspects of life -- marriage, family, business, church and politics -- we must get involved, learn our proper roles, support each other and connect for the benefit of everyone. Otherwise, we all lose. In the end, nobody will say to you, "How 'bout them Cowboys." But you could hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." And then, you will know that the ultimate victory is yours.


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 816

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.