No one can two serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
The words of Matthew 6:24 played over and over again in my head as I stayed at home another hour neglecting both my schoolwork and my job, just to catch one 30-second LeBron James highlight on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” I had missed the previous hour.
It was at this moment I had an epiphany, a mental breakthrough if you will. I love “SportsCenter”. But not in the most pure and beautiful form of the word like I love my mother, or even in the love/hate pseudo-abusive way I love this University. I have a sick addiction to the show that is there for me; excuse me, I meant on, whenever I need it to be.
While the aforementioned scripture was referring to loving money more than God, and I definitely don’t love “SportsCenter” more than my Lord and Savior, it definitely struck a chord with me; I oftentimes place the show before other things that should hold more prominence in my life. I can’t even recall how many telephone conversations I’ve “yeahed” and “OK’d” my way through so I wouldn’t miss a highlight. And the number of homework assignments and papers I’ve postponed in lieu of the show is nearing astronomical figures.
But wait… It gets worse, “SportsCenter” is the last thing I think about before I go to sleep at night and the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. I make sure I watch it at 2 a.m. before I lay me down to sleep, to make sure I catch all the final scores from the games played on the West Coast. I then wake up and scurry to the tube like something else has really changed between the time I went to sleep and the time I got out of bed.
I thank God for granting me this startling moment of clarity because almost as soon as I recognized that I had a problem; I came to the realization that I’m not alone in my affliction. I know for a fact there are hundreds of brothers on this campus and probably thousands, if not millions, of brothers worldwide suffering from the same ailment.
Every morning I come in The Famuan’s office, and before plopping down in front of a computer to begin slaving my life away, I’ll pose the age old question, usually to deputy sports editor Ryan Boyd or deputy news editor Steven Jumper: “Did you see ‘SportsCenter’?”
Now, after they reply in the affirmative, the conversation should be over, right? I mean, if I’m the one asking, then clearly I saw it. And if they reply with a “yes,” there isn’t any reason to discuss it is there, right? But nah, not us. We dive headfirst into at least a 15-minute conversation about something both of us just said we already saw.
This whole revolutionary thought wave got me thinking about something my ex-girlfriend said to me once: “Nick, you know you don’t have to watch the Super Bowl?”
While at the time it sounded as foreign a concept as FAMU doing things the right way the first time and on time, I still haven’t missed a Super Sunday yet, and I don’t plan to. I can definitely understand where she was coming from more now than ever.
This is divine intervention. This entire overcoming did not happen by chance or accident. I didn’t go through this for me. I went through this to help someone else who’s going through the same thing. Brothers, we need to get it together…right after “SportsCenter” goes off.
Nick Birdsong is a junior newspaper journalism student from Tampa. He is the sports editor for The Famuan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.