Armchair Quarterbacks are Everywhere!
It’s playoff season! Perhaps you are still yawning from Monday’s late-night overtime period to determine this year’s college football champion. On the professional football front, the playoff teams are set and the journey to the Lombardi Trophy begins this Sunday.
Have you seen any bad calls yet? Any coaching mistakes or poorly thrown passes?
Unless you have found a parallel universe where people don’t make mistakes, my guess is you have. Not only are there mistakes in football, but we have the advantage of watching the games on large high-resolution televisions with instant replay from multiple angles.
In slow motion.
It’s fine to watch football with these amenities, and even yell and scream at the screen when things don’t go our way. As long as we are self-aware.
We are not as talented, physically, as the people we are watching. We lack their conditioning, and if we had to play a full game, we would be huffing and puffing on the line of scrimmage by the end of the first quarter. Or the first play. The crowd would rattle us. The other team would intimidate us. To borrow an old adage…
… “It ain’t as easy as it looks!”
But we still make the calls from the comfort of our recliner. We tell the coach who to play, accuse the referees of bias and wonder why 19 year-old kids make mistakes when thousands of people are cheering and an opponent is preparing to use his body as a missile against them.
“Ahhhhh….Dear, can you bring me some more salsa and chips?”
It’s no mystery we make calls in other areas of our lives, whether or not we are in a position to speak authoritatively. How so?
We tell other people what they should have done and what we would have done had we been them.
We judge people’s hearts and decide for ourselves whether or not they were giving their best.
We talk about other’s weaknesses.
We lay blame.
Some armchair quarterbacks even make fun of others and heap insults on them.
On social media if necessary.
But this doesn’t mean nothing physical is happening. I have reached the conclusion armchair quarterbacks are actually involved in an aerobic activity. When they attack the television screen they receive a rush of adrenaline. Something happens with their chemistry when they tell an experienced coach he is an idiot or a talented player he is a loser. Tearing others down feeds their ego and makes them feel good inside.
I don’t remember when I recognized this truth in myself, but I freely confess I have been guilty. I have put others down to experience the rush that comes with the feeling of superiority. It’s an addiction. It’s also wrong (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
I still yell at my television screen during a big football game. After all, I’m an American!
But I try to remember the truth. The truth is, I am just a spectator, and until I have the talent, stamina or opportunity to line up with a team in a championship game, I need to keep my opinions in perspective.
Although I don’t think I would miss a short field goal in a big game.
How hard can that be?