Another week in the NFL has resulted in another wild set of games, many of which elicited controversy and criticism from coaches, players, and fans. The Bills upset the Chiefs on a controversial penalty call, the Titans shocked the heavily favored Dolphins on Monday night, and the 49ers continued their dominance of the NFC. One of the biggest wins of the week came from the Baltimore Ravens.
The AFC North-leading Ravens were locked in a struggle with the Los Angeles Rams, and the Ravens needed overtime to take down a mediocre NFC squad struggling to stay in contention. The Ravens won their 11th game of the year, and afterward, Coach Jim Harbaugh talked about the game but more notably talked about a higher power.
Harbaugh has been the coach of the Ravens for 16 seasons and has won a Super Bowl. However, he hasn’t forgotten his faith or who to thank for all he has accomplished. Harbaugh shared with the media what he shared with his team after the thrilling victory over the Rams. In the post-game presser coach praised the Rams but spoke of the Advent season as well.
Attempting to keep his squad grounded and humble, Harbaugh said: “This is your moment in life and this is your time. Five hundred years from now, none of us are going to be around. Five hundred years [ago], none of us were here, so we’re given this time with these people in this place for a purpose. There’s December, and the time is December. December football has a meaning to it. It’s preparation for great events to come. You have to put yourself in position with December football for what’s to come.”
Reminding the players that life is just a blink of an eye is his way of focusing the team on the task at hand instead of looking ahead to the next game. In a further attempt to humble his team, the Ravens Coach also stressed: “It’s also the Advent season. Advent comes from the Latin ‘adventus,’ which means anticipation and preparation for an amazing event, which is the coming of our Savior and celebrating the Christ — the Good News that changes the world and changes it for all eternity.” In a nod to the Christmas season and a confession of his faith, Harbaugh brought attention back to the birth of Christ with his explanation of Advent.
The Ravens won on a dramatic walk-off punt return touchdown in overtime, which caused the Baltimore sideline to erupt in celebration. While Harbaugh raced down the sidelines to celebrate the win, he felt a familiar tug reminding him to be a sportsman and congratulate losing coach Sean McVey. He said: “I jumped around and I lost my headset. I think God probably reminded me — the Holy Spirit, maybe something. It was a small, still voice in my head.”
It was a dramatic win by the Ravens, and they now hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC. John Harbaugh has done a great job with a team struggling with injuries and thin at certain skill positions. What is more impressive is Harbaugh’s willingness to show his faith and praise his God at a time when it is so risky and unpopular to do so.
Featured image: Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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