The Thrill of Victory or the Agony of Defeat, “The Pep Talk: #8

The Pep Talk Wasn’t “Win One for the ‘Gipper'”


Where did the phrase “Win one for the Gipper” come from?


Knute Rockne was the coach of the Notre Dame football team in the 1920s and George Gipp was his star player. The story goes that Gipp fell ill and when dying, he asked Rockne to promise that, when things were going badly for the team, he should inspire them by asking them to “Win one for the Gipper”


The Head Coach probably delivered the greatest pep talk of all time and it wasn’t “Win one for the Gipper”, but ” It is Finished.” You may ask what was finished or what the heck he told his team before going out on the playing field to start the greatest game ever played? This was the moment in time that changed the course of history forever!


Before the game ended, the Head Coach gave up his life for the team, and with his last breath, he stated “It is Finished,” (Matthew 27:50-56, Mark 15:37-41, Luke 23:45-49, John 19:28-30). The redemption of mankind from the time that sin entered the world because of Adam’s disobedience (Romans 5:12) would now become available when he was raised from the dead. Now we have our free will right as sons of God to live victoriously in the game of life


The Pep Talk


  • You compete to win the game – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (compete to win), Galatians 2:2 (don’t compete to lose), Philippians 2:16


  • Play every snap with temperance (exercise self-control) striving for the crown, the big game’s trophy – 1 Corinthians 9:25 (Philippians 3:14-the high calling of God). You put all mental problems out of your mind and play the game with patience – Hebrews 12:1


  • The Head Coach used the analogy of a fighter when he is fighting doesn’t just beat the air, he beats his opponent, the world’s team – 1 Corinthians 9:26


  • The players on the word team bring their bodies into subjection (controlled), if all the teammates did this, they would be a force to be reckoned with and hard to beat. If they didn’t, they would lose the big game – 1 Corinthians 9:27


  • The other team will try to mentally and physically (like helmet-to-helmet hits which are penalties) to distract you from not playing your best and not carrying out the game plan –Galatians – 5:7


  • The Head Coach explained to his team that it was a spiritual battle more than a physical contest (Ephesians 6:12). And it would take using all of God’s armor to stand against this spiritual power. They would have to compete with their loins (including their jockstraps) girt about with truth, breastplate (football shoulder pads) of righteousness (the right standard for playing the game) –Ephesians 6:13-17


  • During the game keep your eyes on the prize, the high calling of God – Hebrews 12:1


  • The Head Coach used the athletic analogies from the word to train his team mentally for the competition. But he also trained them physically sending them into other cities to preach the word and heal people, mostly their physical training consisted of walking – Matthew 10:1-11:1, Mark 6:7-13,30,31, Luke 9:1-10,10:1-24! 


Now, let’s get ready for the big game, the kick-off, and the first quarter!



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