During my coaching career, I have had the privilage of coaching some of the most intense players. These are players whose passion for the game is so contagious that those around them will attempt to match their intensity or die trying.
None was more intense than Six, that was his number and his peers gave him the name. If Texas had a Mr. Football, like Indiana has a Mr. Basketball, then he would have won it.
In his Junior season, Six broke his elbow in the semi-final game and the doctor would not clear him to play unless it was in a cast that kept his elbow bent. This type of cast was illegal in football so he could not play in the title game.
Despite being sidelined, he took on the role of coaching from the sideline. He called all the offensive and defensive plays as he had all season. He was relentless in his game day preparation. During the game, we could not stop him from going onto the field to celebrate with his brothers, stand on the field to call plays, and run up and down the sideline (outside the coaches box) shouting encouragement. I believe the officials did not flag him because they too admired his intensity and passion.
The week after winnng the title game. He played in the All Star game with his broken arm. This was not an "official" game so he was allowed to wear a soft cast, compartmentalize the pain and proceed to lead his team in tackles and another victory.
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Matthew 21:12
As a football coach, I have seen some incredible athletes and players who have shown unmatched levels of intensity and passion on the field. Despite all of these examples of intense play, there is one player who stands out above all others, and that is Jesus Christ.
Now, I know what you may be thinking - how can a religious figure be compared to a football player? But hear me out. Jesus demonstrated a level of focus, determination, and perseverance that is truly remarkable. He faced opposition, criticism, and even physical violence, yet he never gave up on his mission.
Jesus also had a deep understanding of the importance of teamwork. He chose his disciples carefully and worked closely with them to achieve their shared goals. He motivated and encouraged them, even in the face of challenges and setbacks.
But what really sets Jesus apart as the most intense player of all time is his willingness to sacrifice everything for the greater good. He put his own life on the line to save others and showed a level of selflessness that is rare in any arena.
As a coach, I often talk to my players about the importance of giving their all on the field, of pushing themselves to their limits, and of never giving up. These are all qualities that Jesus embodied in his life and teachings.
While Jesus may not have been a football player, his intensity, passion, and commitment to his mission make him the most intense player of all time in my eyes. As we strive to be the best we can be on the field, we can learn a lot from the example that he set.