15 JAN 11: All Or Nothing at All
(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find the following items humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath.)
The "crystal trophy" comes to Columbus today -- the prize Auburn's football team received for winning the Bowl Championship Series title game. If you see one of the other prizes from last Monday night, drive by Coach Gene Chizik's house next summer and watch the remodeling crew.
The fervor over Auburn's 14-game winning streak (not counting last January's bowl game) has left a few passive football fans confused. Take this e-mail we received this past week....
I must be getting old. People have written we are "all in" on my Facebook page. What does that mean? Where did it come from? I had to break down and ask my daughter what WDE stood for in Facebook speak too. And to think I run a news website! Boy did I feel stupid/ancient when she said War D**g Eagle mom! I need a Facebook acronym handbook. HAHA
I puzzle a few people with online abbreviations, too. Write "PTL" to mean "Praise the Lord," and some readers might think you're from Portland, Oregon.
The phrase "all-in" goes back to the pre-season, when Coach Gene Chizik asked Auburn fans to go "all-in" for the Tigers in 2010. They apparently responded well - but it was the Athletic Department which left them out in the cold, by canceling Monday's telecast in the arena.
But I trace the phrase to Texas Hold 'em Poker. You're "all-in" when you bet all your chips. I doubt Gene Chizik mentioned poker at that rally, because the anti-gambling task force might have started investigating him....
If you've visited our other blog, you know I try to bring up matters of faith at poker tables. For instance, I tell people the greatest "all-in moment" in history happened about 2,000 years ago. That's when God sent His "one and only son" to Earth, as John 3:16 puts it. Jesus lived a perfect life, then gave it up to save all humankind. Let's see baseball pitchers match that perfect game.
An old hymn has the line, "Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe." Paul recommends in I Thessalonians you should keep "your whole spirit, soul and body.... blameless...." Even though it's not humanly possible to be perfect every day, it's still good and honorable to try. Once in a while, you might go on a big run - from September to January.
As it happens, WBOJ-FM "88.5 The Truth" debuted a new song the other day called "All In." It gives the phrase a perspective much bigger than a poker game or a football season. May you reach the realization that "playing halfway" really only works in a baseball infield.
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