Can You Imagine - The One Year Devos for Sports Fans

CAN YOU IMAGINE a football defense so good that it doesn’t give up a point all season? Well, in 1937, Duke University had that kind of defense.

The Blue Devils opened the year by defeating Virginia Tech 18–0. Then Duke blanked Davidson, Colgate, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Syracuse, North Carolina State, and Pittsburgh to tally an amazing nine-straight run of shutouts!

Duke’s perfect record coupled with its perfect defense earned the school a berth in the Rose Bowl against the University of Southern California Trojans.

The teams battled fiercely through three quarters, but Duke went ahead 3–0 in the fourth on Tony Ruffa’s 23-yard field goal. With the game winding down, USC took over on offense, 61 yards away from the Blue Devils’ goal line.

During the drive, USC assistant coach Joe Wilensky telephoned head coach Howard Jones from the press box and suggested that fourth-string quarterback Doyle Nave be sent into the contest. Assuming his entire staff backed the call, Jones sent Nave into the huddle along with Al Krueger—his favorite, yet seldom used, receiver.

The duo immediately brought the sluggish Trojan offense to life. Three straight passes from Nave to Krueger netted 13, 9, and –2 yards. With only 41 seconds remaining, the substitute quarterback found his fellow reserve in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown. The only scoring play Duke allowed all year gave USC a 7–3 victory.

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POINT What unlikely heroes! Imagine sitting on the bench in a bowl game listed fourth on the depth chart. Surely Nave and Krueger never thought they would play unless the Trojans suffered a lot of injuries. But the call came.

The two turned defeat into victory and went from overlooked to exalted. Why? They remained willing and ready to be used by the coach.

In the Bible, Jesus says we need to be ready to serve him at all times. Nobody knows when he will return. So as a member of his team, always be prepared to get into the game.

GOAL! Think of a time when you got to do something because you were willing and ready. Ask the heavenly Father to help you be prepared to hear and answer his call.

You must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

Luke 12:40

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The One Year Devos for Sports Fans
By John Hillman and Kathy Hillman

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