What jersey are you wearing?

basketball jerseys by Billie_PartsnPieces on flickr

Baskeball Jerseys by Billie PartsnPieces From Flickr

My husband loves to watch basketball.  And the other day (while largely ignoring the game on the TV), I asked him why the players on the home court were wearing boring white uniforms and the away teams wore the “pretty” colorful ones.  I’d think the home team should be more fabulous looking, since they are on their own turf.  He said, “That’s just the way it is.” Obviously, sports fashion choices matter a little more to me than they do to him.  But I expect that most men don’t pay much attention to the jersey color, only enough to figure out which team they’re cheering for that game.

Bear with me on this analogy, because I’m still working out the kinks, but it seems like I wear different jerseys for different occasions too.  I wear my fancy, pretty colored jersey to church and with fellow Christians.  I boldly proclaim the team colors and show my allegiance.

But then when I’m away, at the workplace and hanging out with non-Christians, I wear the white uniform, the one that doesn’t show my team so clearly.  The team colors aren’t as easy to see, and I blend in with the crowd a lot better.    And I’m not sure sure that’s a good thing.

In both cases, I’m still playing for my team (God’s team), but I’m a different type of player.  When I’m playing away games (with unbelievers), I’m  less of a team player, harder to spot by my fellow teammates and more prone to hang out on the sidelines. Basically, my whole heart is not really in the game.

I’m going to take this one step further and say that when I’m outside the church, and sadly, sometimes when I’m in it, I’ll swap that team logo for my own logo.  Instead of playing for Christ’s team, I’ll go for my own wins.  So, speaking to an unbeliever, I’d represent myself, instead of representing Christ.  I might even put on another team’s logo, some idol that I’m fixated on and serving.  Instead of God’s team logo, I’ll stick a dollar sign or a chocolate bar in its place.

I realize that when I’m hanging out with Christians and when I’m hanging out with non-believers, I might behave a little differently.  You can still have integrity and learn to meet non-Christians where they are.  But I need to learn how to stay in the game, to boldly wear my team’s colors, even when my team is the underdog and is grossly unpopular.  Being in Seattle, with our long suffering home teams, this analogy is particularly applicable.

And the NBA really needs to rethink the white home team jerseys.  They are really boring!


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post and great analogy Amy!

    AL: Thanks Ross!

  2. Oh sheesh…now I’m going to go nuts until I find out how the home team wears white thing got decided.

    You just can’t drop a mystery like that unexpectedly on a reference librarian. We’re just like Retrievers…we have to chase down that dead duck!

    Love you analogy. I dare you to come up with one about the difference between Pointers and Retrievers. (Our neighbor’s dog spent hours yesterday pointing flies on their patio deck. The image is still stuck.)

    AL: You’ll have to let me know if you find anything out! I did come across something that explained how in football, it’s variable depending on what the hometeam chooses. But basketball is set. No outdoor factors to take into consideration there.

    Jill, you know I’m a cat person, so the dog analogy wouldn’t be my thing! Now, give me an analogy about fat cats and scrawny ones, and I could handle that just fine. =)

  3. The Los Angeles Lakers do not wear white home uniforms. And also, does your husband read spy-doctor stories while watching basketball?

    AL: Now there’s a coincidence. Dan and I were watching a Lakers game when I noticed the home team thing (Dan’s from the LA area). They were wearing their white home team uniforms, but Dan says that they sometimes wear yellow. Most of the teams wear white home jerseys though. Why knows why they would have white and yellow home jerseys, but maybe the white ones are the new standards, since I saw this on a very recent home game?

    And Dan likes multi tasking, but reading and basketball…that’s a feat. =)

  4. I think this is a great analogy Amy ! You said it beautifully in that, “You can still have integrity and learn to meet non-Christians where they are.” Finding that balance in our everyday interactions with family, co-workers, etc. is not always easy for me.

    I have to admit that I did a doubletake when I saw the jerseys picture and wondered if I was at the wrong blog. I’m one of those geeks who actually does pay attention to jersey colors and that type of trivia. From what I understand, the Lakers only wear the white uniforms on Sunday and holiday home games. And hockey (NHL) teams wore white at home up until a few years ago and now wear dark jerseys (which still confuses me). College football will be experimenting with both teams wearing dark jerseys this fall in some games.

    And that’s probably much more than you wanted to know, so this sports geek will now sign off 🙂

    AL: Wow, I had no idea the logic was so involved in the outfit decisions! Thanks for your info! I was wondering if my readers would wonder if I’m losing touch with my femininity, after Friday’s “manly books” post and now this. =) Must be what happens when Dan is on vacation and I spend so much time with him. Maybe I need to write about flowers or rainbows tomorrow to help even things out. hehe.

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