I was chatting with Spinney on the phone last night and since she lives near Dallas I mentioned how well the Stars were doing this year to which she responded, "Oh really, I hadn't noticed." "Hmph!" I thought. How can you steal my hockey team and then not even bother to follow them?
Well, I'm always looking for theological parallels in sports, probably more than I should be...
You will say then, "Branches were broken off that Texas might be grafted in." Well said. But do not be haughty, but fear. For if the NHL did not spare Minnesota they may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of the NHL: on Minnesota, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in that goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And Minnesota also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for the NHL is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is "wild" by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
I think this is why I'm still a Stars fan 13 years later, still waiting for my team to come back home. I kept following them after the move and I cheered them on during their Stanley Cup runs in '99 and '00. And then suddenly a new team showed up in my town with ugly uniforms and a nickname that makes no sense and I was just supposed to drop everything and start cheering for them? Not possible. Even though my team plays 1,000 miles away from me I still realize that I am a natural branch that remains grafted in.
So I was able to go to a Stars game last fall with Spinney while I was in Dallas. There we were--she, an unnatural branch that had been grafted in along with me, a natural branch grafted back in, cheering on the same team. But I must exhort her while it is still called today, lest she be hardened by the deceitfulness of college basketball.