Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: November 10th

On Being the First

With only three weeks left in the season the National Football League is moving closer to Super Bowl Forty. A that time they will crown the champion football team of the NFL. The NFL Champion. There's an odd quirk that goes with not just professional football but collegiate football as well. And it all centers around two states; Wisconsin and Ohio. The quirk deals with the first teams to do some rather important things. It deals with being champions.

The NFL crowned its first ever champion football team in 1929. The Green Bay Packers from Green Bay Wisconsin won the very first NFL Championship game. They then proceeded to win the next two and three more in the first twenty years of the league. That's six titles in a short period of time. Now here's the quirk. Guess who won the first two Super Bowls? None other than the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay has been called Title Town when it comes to professional football. However, for a span of ten years Cleveland, Ohio could have been.

The All American Football Conference began in 1946. That year the Cleveland Browns were begun under the coaching of Paul Brown. They won the very first Championship of the AAFC. They also won the championship in 1947, 1948 and 1949. The next year the AAFC was dissolved and the majority of the teams joined the NFL. "Now those upstart Browns will see what real football is like," people thought. From 1950 through 1955 the Browns played in the NFL Championship Game every year winning the championship in their very first year, 1950, and also in 1954 and 1955. They were the first professional football team to play in ten straight professional football title games and the first team to ever win six championships in a ten year span doing so.

Wasn't there supposed to be a collegiate link to this somewhere? There is and it involves Wisconsin. One of the most prestigious football conferences ever formed in college football, and one of the oldest, is the Big Ten. With its formation there were teams from seven contiguous states: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Where did the Green Bay Packers learn to be the first champions of the NFL? From the Wisconsin Badgers. In 1896 Wisconsin won the first ever Big Ten Conference Championship.

The first. Everyone can do what the teams I have mentioned have done, but they can never be the first to do so. First is only important in sports. Or is it. "But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one in its own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His Coming." 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 If there was never a first there could never be others. If Christ had not raised from the dead first we would die in our sins.

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