Next Man Up

Oregon Football redefined the game. Not just for lightning quick scores, up-tempo offense, and staggering point totals. The real difference comes from Coach Kelly and his philosophy, one of those ideas being how to handle individuals in a team game.

Chip Kelly’s mantra has always been – “next man up.” That’s how the Ducks practice and that’s the philosophy of this team. If a player goes down to injury, the next player in should be prepared – mentally and physically – to play.

Coach Kelly never talks about injuries.

“We don’t talk about it, ever,” said Kelly, whose team improved to 2–0. “We’re going next man in, if we have to go next man in.”

While a team will have its star players, you don’t hear much from Coach Kelly about it. If someone gets hurt, it’s not doom-and-gloom about the season being over, rather it’s an opportunity for someone else to shine, and contribute to the team.

Coach Kelly’s ideas certainly work for Oregon football, but you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with me? Consider the words of Coach Paul:

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. (Hebrews 5:12 NLT)

Let’s rephrase Paul’s words in Chip Kelly terms: You guys aren’t ready to be next man up. If a teammate goes down, you must be ready, or the team suffers. It’s time to step up (or as I say, it’s 2:59AM) and get back in the game.

Chip Kelly’s philosophy has proved to be correct as the Ducks look to extend their PAC-10 PAC-12 dominance yet another season.

Sadly, the difference between football and the church comes down to dedication — while football players prioritize team, working in the weight room, and practice, the church argues over which is the bigger problem, ignorance or apathy? (With the answer “I don’t know, and I don’t care”)

Apparently it’s too much for the church to be at least as dedicated as a football team, as the church can be infested with slackers and pew-warmers.

How about you — if someone in your church leadership goes down, are you prepared to be next man in?

You must listen to Coach Paul … because it’s 2:59AM, and you can do it, but to do it you’ve got to get off the bench and get in the box.

… the crowd on its feet and if there was ever a preface, to “Casey at the Bat,” it would have to be the ninth inning. Two out. The tying run aboard, the winning run at the plate, and Kirk Gibson, standing at the plate. Gibson, a deep sigh … re-gripping the bat … shoulders just shrugged … now goes to the top of the helmet, as he always does … steps in with that left foot.

Eckersley working out of the stretch, here’s the three-two pitch … and a drive hit to right field WAY BACK! IT’S GONE! IT’S GONE! (Don Drysdale calling Kirk Gibson’s ninth-inning home run in the 1988 World Series)

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