A wonderful thing happened at the Thanksgiving Day game at AT&T Stadium (besides the Bills winning): three divergent fans came together in love and respect.
My father-in-law and I attended the football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, and we had a great time. And, yes, I even went a little hoarse from all the yelling. One moment that sticks out in my mind, however, didn’t happen on the field of play nor in the stands. Rather, it was right next to the concessions.
Smack Talk at the Snack Bar
I was in line to get some water (at $5 per bottle – YIKES!), when a person behind us tried to talk some football smack to me and the Cowboys fan behind me. I smiled and pointed out how the big talker’s New England Patriots shirt might not have been be the wisest choice in Cowboy’s Stadium just a few days after the Patriots defeated the Cowboys. At that point, the two of them decided to try to talk smack to me (I was wearing a Josh Allen shirt and a Buffalo Bills cap).
This was the perfect opportunity to have fun while showing love.
Mutual Love and Respect despite Differing Opinions
I looked at the Cowboys fan and said, “You know, there are only two teams I hate,” and then pointed to his Cowboys jersey and the Patriots shirt. “However,” I continued, “I may hate those teams, but I love the people!”
Both gentleman got giant smiles and laughed in support. The three of us agreed that we can disagree when it comes to sports, but we’re all humans and can come together as people. We ended our conversation with one of them taking a selfie of the three of us together.
I was honored to take the picture, to meet those gentleman, and to have a chance to have some fun smack talking each other while still showing respect and love. I wish I had gotten their names and that photo, but at least I’ll always have the memory.
We Can Disagree and yet Show Love
So often, people make differences of opinion personal and allow those differences to divide us. Whether it’s in sports, politics, religion, or anything else, opinions should never, ever become a wall of separation. We can and should always seek opportunities to show love to those around us regardless of what they like, believe, or do.
Disagreeing is perfectly fine. I can’t see myself ever liking the Dallas Cowboys or the New England Patriots. The people though—the players, coaches, and fans—I’ll always love them. There may be lots of smack talk in person or on social media, but that’s part of the fun, and I won’t let it create a needless barrier between us.
We must always remember that each of us are individuals made in God’s image. As a follower of Jesus, my love for God and my love for others far surpasses my love for the Buffalo Bills and my disdain for other teams.