WATCH: This Stadium Just Took Matters Into Their Own Hands When Told ‘No Anthem’

Softball fans in Louisiana learned “The Star Spangled Banner” would not be performed prior to the game between the Ragin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and the Baylor Bears.

The anthem was not regularly performed due to “time constraints” as it was the third game of the day.

Fans in the crowd took matters into their own hands and sang the anthem together. This was after attempts to convince the public address announcer to play the anthem proved unsuccessful.

Luke Johnson of The Advocate Blog took the initial video. You can view the result above.

As for the game itself, the Ragin’ Cajuns defeated Baylor 9-1 and will move on to the NCAA super regionals.

h/t: IJ Review

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Movie Review: ‘When The Game Stands Tall’

As a college student in my pre-Christian days I was mega-moved by the film The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. A breakout role for British actor Tom Courtenay, the story depicts young juvenile delinquent Colin Smith, sentenced to a reform school run by a tyrannical thug of a governor whose passion is marathon running. After several attempts to break Smith, the governor discovers his talent for distance running and offers enticements if Smith will run for the school. It is all about the governor’s vanity and nothing to do with the welfare of any of his charges. When Smith realizes how thoroughly he has sold out for a few privileges, he stops in the grand race just before crossing the finish line. In this climactic moment, he refuses victory to assert his independence and to spite the authority figure who has used him. His gesture is all about the power to say NO when all other options are cut off. He considers his NO a victory, though he returns to the bottom in the reformatory culture with an extended sentence.

2014’s When The Game Stands Tall – available on DVD and Blu-ray – has a similar climactic moment whose meaning makes all the difference in the world.  A primary subplot involves a fictional running back – Chris Ryan – whose father is abusively obsessive about the son breaking the all-time scoring record for California high school footballers. Ryan ties the record in the last game and is poised to carry the ball into the endzone in a walk near the end of the game. He too stops – and runs out the clock – after making sure his team wins the game. But his act is not defiance; it is submission. He says in the huddle – before taking a knee on the next two plays – that he is a member of a team and not interested in it being all about him. He has all the glory he needs already; he gives his tribute to the team and the coach who brought him all the way to where he is.

Chris Ryan is the only fictional character in the film. His story is truer than the facts – because fiction at its best tells the truth more clearly and more fully than mere facts. Every other character and incident is true and correct. The Ryan subplot simply draws the whole truth from the history in more living color.

This is no one-dimensional march to athletic glory as a reward for clean living and dedication. The story actually begins after the one hundred fifty-one game-winning streak ends and a new team must discover how to live post-streak. Meanwhile, every character is flawed, or struggling, or both – like real life. TK spends his young life trying to climb out of the ghetto and wins a scholarship to the University of Oregon together with his lifelong friend, Tayshon. The latter continues to party with gangster wannabes in the ghetto and goes into a tailspin when TK – the innocent and responsible one – is randomly gunned down by a gang member while picking Tayshon up from a place where he should not be. Their coach delivers the eulogy and confesses that – while he will continue to love and serve his Lord Jesus – he has no answers and nothing but despair over the senseless killing. The coach himself has hidden flaws that bite him, his family, and his team.

He secretly smokes. Hardly a ticket to hell, but Coach is so image conscious he is living a lie – and that is a character issue. His smoking leads to a near-fatal heart attack, being unavailable to his team for several critical months, and the exposure of his hypocrisy. He is already less than available to his family, and the confluence of consequences leads him to authentic repentance across the board.

He will become a better husband and father, a better coach, and a better man. He does this not because he is so good but because he chooses – repeatedly – to live a life referred to God and to the ones he is called to serve. His choice is all the more important when it is clear and consequential that some past choices have been poor ones.

This movie is well written, directed with vision, and tightly edited. The performances are crisp and natural. That makes it an excellent piece of work and one all of us can enjoy. But it also presents a powerful depiction of a prophetic community, a 1 Corinthians 12 culture, in which everyone has a pivotal role and no one is expendable. See it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Stephen Curry Praises Christ For Winning NBA MVP Award

NBA star Stephen Curry affirmed his faith in Jesus Christ after accepting the 2014-2015 Most Valuable Player award last week. It is the first time the 27-year-old has captured the title.

Curry put Christ at the forefront in a speech last Monday: “First and foremost I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game, with the family to support me, day in, day out. I’m His humble servant right now and I can’t say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game,” the Golden State Warriors point guard said.

I pound my chest and point to the sky, it symbolizes that I have a heart for God, something that my mom and I came up with in college.

I do it every time I step on the court as a reminder of who I’m playing for. People should know who I represent and why I am who I am, and that’s because of my Lord and savior.

Curry also thanked his wife and his father, who himself played in the NBA for 16 years. He said the four things that brought him success were faith, passion, drive, and will.

In an article for Charisma News, the MVP also said his faith “continues to be his driving force.” Curry credits his coach, Mark Jackson, a pastor of a church in Southern California, and said there are “about 10 guys on our team… who attend our pre-game chapel and pray together before games.”

“The Holy Spirit is moving through our locker room in a way I’ve never experienced before. It’s allowing us to reach a lot of people, and personally I am just trying to use this stage to share how God has been a blessing to my life and how He can be the same in everyone else’s,” Curry wrote.

God’s given me talents to play basketball for a living, but I still have to work hard to improve every day. I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is just a game that can be taken from me at any moment.

But I love that basketball gives me opportunities to do good things for people and to point them towards the Man who died for our sins on the cross. I know I have a place in heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top.

h/t: Christian Today

Do you support Stephen Curry? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Baltimore Peaceful On First Day Of Curfew Being Lifted

Baltimore carried on peacefully Sunday as Democratic Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings-Blake lifted the curfew imposed last week in the aftermath of citywide rioting for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who was killed in police custody. On the same day, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, ordered the National Guard to withdraw from Charm City.

Rawlings-Blake announced the end of the curfew in a statement Sunday, one day ahead of schedule, according to the Associated Press.

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05042015_RB Tweet 1_Twitter “My number one priority in instituting a curfew was to ensure the public peace, safety, health and welfare of Baltimore citizens,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It was not an easy decision, but one I felt was necessary to help our city restore calm.”

The Baltimore mayor imposed the 10 PM – 5 AM curfew last Tuesday after Gray’s funeral the day before, in which rioting throughout the city ensued. Shops, bars, and restaurants throughout Baltimore were looted or destroyed as a result. It was slated to last seven days.

According to WUSA, all was peaceful in the first evening without the curfew imposed.

Hogan said the National Guard would be leaving over the next few days. “We think it’s time to get the community back to normal again,” Hogan told the AP. “It’s been a very hard week, but we’ve kept everybody safe.” The first term governor declared Sunday a statewide “Day of Prayer and Peace.”

Most symbolic of the riots was the destruction of a CVS pharmacy last Monday on the corner of West North and Pennsylvania Avenue, The Los Angeles Times noted.

Civil unrest also caused the Orioles baseball team to postpone their first two games against the Chicago White Sox, rescheduling both games for a single-admission doubleheader on May 28, according to Russia Today.

The third game of the series was played last Wednesday, but closed to paying customers. Only allowed into Oriole Park at Camden Yards were media and professional scouts, reported WLS. The closed-door affair was believed to be the first of its kind in which fans were not allowed to enter a Major League Baseball stadium in the league’s 145-year history.

Furthermore, the Orioles played “home games” against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, the home ballpark of the Rays, in St. Petersburg, Fla., last weekend.

The protests, and more specifically, the curfew, also affected how businesses operated. Jimmy’s Famous Seafood had planned for several weeks to show the “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

But because of the curfew, the business had to cancel its plans and issue refunds, The Baltimore Sun reported. The establishment posted the following statement on its Facebook Page:

Due to the wonderful leadership shown by our great Mayor, we will not be able to broadcast tonight’s Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight.

We will be issuing full refunds to those who pre-purchased tickets, despite not being able to recoup the 10K we paid to show the fights. Sorry for any inconvenience, and thank you for always supporting our UFC/Boxing/WWE events.

According to police, 486 people have been arrested since April 23; and 113 police have been injured in the protests. Since the initial rioting, most of the protests throughout Baltimore have been peaceful.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers involved in Gray’s transport and arrest. One has been charged with second degree murder, three have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and two were with second-degree-assault, the AP reported.

The rioting also spurred a discussion over the word ‘thug,’ with some suggesting it is coated in racism, even though President Barack Obama himself has used the word to describe the rioters in Baltimore. “It’s rooted in a racialized understanding of black people,” Brittany Cooper of Salon told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner last week.

Still, there have been some positive stories in the fallout of the civil unrest in Baltimore. “I’m going to get out here, and I’m going to lead by example,” said Laquicha Harper, who showed up at the aforementioned CVS at 7 AM to help with the cleanup last Tuesday. “Now it’s about picking up and cleaning up for our own community.”

h/t: Fox News

Do you think the worst of the Baltimore unrest is over? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Christian Quarterback Tim Tebow To Sign With The Philadelphia Eagles

It looks like ‘Tebowing’ will be returning to the National Football League (NFL).

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, devout Christian quarterback Tim Tebow is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles after arriving in the City of Brotherly Love Monday, ending a two season hiatus from the NFL. Tebow is set to join the team for offseason workouts.

The quarterback last played a game in the NFL with the New York Jets, backing up Mark Sanchez in 2012–who he will rejoin in Philadelphia. He played the previous two seasons for the Denver Broncos, where he was drafted 25th overall in 2010, reaching the AFC championship in 2011. The devout Christian will not only rejoin Sanchez, but former roommate Riley Cooper.

In 2013, he was invited to training camp with the New England Patriots but was cut from the roster by Head Coach Bill Belichick before the start of the season. He has been working as an analyst for the SEC Network (a subsidiary of ESPN) since 2014, and as a commentator for ABC’s Good Morning America.

Prior to being drafted by the Broncos, Tebow captured two NCAA National Championships and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 with the University of Florida.

As The Washington Post notes, this would add Tebow to a depth chart which includes Sam Bradford (who was acquired last month with the St. Louis Rams in a deal for Nick Foles), Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley, and G.J. Kinne.

Many have already taken to Twitter to laud the Christian athlete for his return to professional football:


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h/t: Top Right News

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth