Coach Cecil is about 7 feet tall and I think has that condition that Lincoln supposedly had. He’s a scary dude. He’s also a preacher for one of the local megachurches. Cecil tended to get more out of the kids by speaking very little and doing so in very short commands:
“Stop the ball!”
“Hit it hard!”
When on Coach Cecil’s Team we went 11-1, only losing in the championship game (despite my son’s season being shortened by an appendectomy, leaving us shorthanded in the playoffs), raised the most money for the league fundraiser, and the most food for the league food drive.
That team didn’t have all that much more talent than this year’s team, which got me to thinking that, given Cecil’s occupation, was God on that team’s side?
Certainly, folks have been invoking divine intervention for their teams since it was lions vs.Christians, but much like the usual author of this blog, I tend toward agnosticism, so I never gave it much credence. Plus I’m sure there are thousands of people who pray for the Cubs every season, so the evidence of history is on the side of rationalism. Except…
I first saw Cecil in a hardware store looking over the giant rack of nuts, bolts, screws. He clearly needed something more out of the ordinary than a 3/8” or 9/16” and was not happy. We didn’t know each other then, so I was eavesdropping on his end of his phone conversation, which went something like: “No, no” followed by a long plea on other end, then “No, no” followed by an even longer attempt at persuasion. Finally, Cecil said, “NO! That would be disobedient to God,” and angrily hung up the phone.
It wasn’t a very polite way to treat a member of the congregation, no matter how many times they might have annoyed you previously by calling while you were at peace in the silent, undemanding company of nuts and bolts, screws and washers, but I sometimes wonder that if Cecil had exercised a little more patience with his flock that day, last year's team could have gone undefeated.