While reading my twitter feed and basking in the afterglow of an accomplished Baylor Sports midseason, I noticed a theme of twitter buzz about my alma matter:
- @JasonKingESPN: Baylor 40-0 in lady hoops, produces Heisman winner & wins 30 gms/Elite in men’s hoops. Where r those who said theyd never compete in Big 12
Elsewhere on the interweb, writers are already noting how athletic success is translating into academic success. Stephen Hawkins, a San Francisco sports writer, discovered these interesting statistics for Baylor admissions:
There are more than 40,000 applications for the upcoming fall semester for only about 3,000 freshman spots. That’s up from 15,458 applicants for the Fall 2005 class, right after the Lady Bears won their first national title. Average SAT and ACT scores for incoming freshmen also have significantly increased during that time.
With so much good going on at Baylor, Hawkins has labeled this wave of success as a “rise of redemption” and internal campaigns have pushed Baylor to “rise up” in athletic success.
Even with all this success, I find it ironic that this praise for Baylor is taking place on holy week. Baylor seems to be bigger than Jesus both in popular press (which is understandable) and in university-related chatter. This is ironic, namely, because without the resurrection, Baylor University would not exist. Furthermore, isn’t the goal of Baylor’s athletics success supposed to provide a platform for the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Don’t get me wrong. I am super pumped about Baylor’s athletics success this calendar year. I have written about it ad nauseum at Christ and Pop Culture. I love that RG3 has become a pseudo-celebrity, that his mere presence at an event establishes legitimacy, that Brittney Griner dunks in games, that Quincy Acy dunks on everyone, and that they are all good people. I love that Baylor sports has risen up since the tragedy of 2003.
And yet, I want to urge “perspective” to myself and my Baylor brethren (and sisteren). The real RISE UP campaign started in Israel about 33 AD:
- 40-0? Not even close to this kind of divine perfection.
- An upset of Oklahoma? Try an upset of hell and death.
- An Elite 8 appearance? How about an empty tomb reappearance.
If you think what Baylor has done this year is impressive, then you should have seen what Jesus did on the cross. Baylor fans, let’s keep things in perspective.