If football is a metaphor for life, then this play is one for the ages. It was Kent State versus Towson. It was a player named Andre Parker. It was me. And maybe it was you, too.
In case you’re not one of the millions of people that have already seen this video, here it is:
Of course from now on he will be known as “Wrong Way Andre.” But I’m not laughing too hard. It reminds me of a time sixteen years ago when I picked up a live ball and took off full speed in the wrong direction. If you’ve read Red Like Blood you know exactly what I mean.
But notice the remarkable series of events that happen next.
First of all, after 58 yards, two players in white tackle Kent State’s Parker, preventing him from scoring two points for Towson!
Then the referees decide the play should have been blown dead before Parker took off with the football. They march all the way back to Towson’s 7-yard line and give the ball to Kent State. It is just as if Parker had done the right thing and the wrong way run never happened.
The best news of all? Parker’s blunder does not cost his team the game. It does not affect the final outcome one iota. The Kent State Golden Flashes win 41-21.
This is more than the story of Wrong Way Andre. It’s a story of grace. And it’s the story of Wrong Way Bob.
If heaven has an ESPN Sports Center, my highlight film would be announced like this:
Yes sports fans, it really happened. Bob Bevington, a second-string player for the Saints, picked up the ball and, holy moly, ran 58-yards in the wrong direction. But wait! Look at this! He was stopped before he could score any points for the Devils.
Then, in an extraordinary turnaround, Bob is declared innocent of wrong-way running. Why? The Team Captain, Jesus Christ appealed to the Judge on Bob’s behalf, and prevailed!
When the final whistle blew, Bob was on the winning team because Jesus carried the ball—and the whole team—on His back. And the Saints are still undefeated. Amazing!
This is the story of the Gospel. This is my story. I hope it’s yours, too. Is it?