A brother in Christ recently asked, “Who’s ready for some OSU football? O-H-…?” Fans responded with the obligatory “…I-O!” Skeptics already are dropping OSU in the Top 25 polls to #5 despite their recent 23-3 win over the Indiana Hoosiers. In the first game of the year a less than stellar offensive line is raising questions about improvements, and as always coach Ryan Day’s job is on the line in many Ohioan’s opinions. Although I’m from Lexington, KY and a UK fan (and not even ranked in the top 25 at all; sigh) I will be rooting 100% for the Buckeyes all the way.
More importantly I’ll be rooting for something I hope everyone who reads this article can get on board with … prayer. While some will express their 1st amendment right by taking a knee during the National Anthem others will be kneeling in pre-and-post-game prayer in the locker room, on the sidelines, and even on the 50 yard line.
Images come to mind of coach Joseph Kennedy who was effectively fired a couple of years ago by the Bremerton, WA school district when he refused to stop his prayers on the 50 years line or conduct them in a less conspicuous place. With courage he stood strong and even the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2022 that a high school football coach’s post-game prayers were protected by the 1st Amendment’s free speech and free exercise of religion clauses and that the Constitution neither requires nor permits school districts to suppress such religious expression by employees. That’s a victory worth celebrating.
To me it’s a near mute point. How can anyone regulate or mandate prayer? I grew up believing as long as students were taking tests - prayer would exist. As long as crisis occur - prayer will persist personally and nationally. Think back to 9-11 or the last storm season and you will see and hear formerly quiet believers calling for public prayer. Or consider nearly any time a player is injured on the field. How many times do you see fellow players bow or kneel in prayer for their teammate? Almost every time without the first complaint from commentators, participants, or producers.
So I encourage everyone to anticipate and enjoy a great season of OSU football … and expect, participate, and be encouraged by gridiron examples of faith on the field. Not for show, nor fanfare. Just men and their Master. My challenge to you: why not join them? Any time you see a player or coach take a knee for OSU or for that matter ANY local High School game - you also can take a knee. Pray before and after football games; as you step onto the field or bleachers.
Testify of your faith as you invite others watching or streaming the games with you on ESPN, CBS, Fox, NBC Peacock, FOX Sports, etc. It’s time to take the field Christians! 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”