Read a Longhorns Excerpt

Read a Longhorns Excerpt
Top Secret

Read Romans 2:1-16.

“This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares” (v. 16).

As the 1968 football season neared, the Longhorns shrouded their new offense in absolute secrecy. It turned out, though, that some students, broadcasters, and even the opposing coaches from Houston knew all about this secret.

The scheme was the brainchild of assistant coach Emory Bellard. (See Devotion No. 30.) Everything about this new-fangled formation was top secret. Darrell Royal and his coaches talked to no one about it and closed all practices to outsiders. Then at a press party the night before the season-opening game with 11th-ranked Houston, a member of the Cougar radio broadcasting team walked up to Royal with a diagram of the new offense. He asked the coach what he called it. An understandably upset Royal asked him how he knew about it. It turned out the secret was no secret at all -- at least not in Houston.

The weak spot in the coaches’ attempts at stealth lay in the fact that they obviously had to let their players in on the secret. The sister of one of the Houston players had a boyfriend who played for Texas. That Longhorn player told his girlfriend who told her brother who told his coaches that Texas had a new offense that looked a lot like the Veer offense Houston head coach Bill Yeoman had invented in 1964.

Perhaps adding insult to injury, a Houston sportswriter came up with the name for the offense that stuck. After the game, a 20-20 tie, a writer asked Royal what he called his offense, and he replied, “I don’t know. What do you guys think?” A writer said it looked like a chicken pully-bone and offered the name “wishbone.”

Soon the whole college football world would know about this “secret” offense that took the Horns to thirty straight wins and two national titles.

We must be vigilant about the personal information we prefer to keep secret. Much information about us -- from credit reports to what movies we rent -- is readily available to prying and persistent persons. In our information age, people we don’t know may know a lot about us — or at least they can find out.

While diligence may allow us to be reasonably successful in keeping some secrets from the world at large, we should never deceive ourselves into believing we are keeping secrets from God. God knows everything about us, including all those things we wouldn’t want proclaimed at church. All our sins, mistakes, failures, shortcomings, quirks, prejudices, and desires – God knows all our would-be secrets.

But here’s something God hasn’t kept a secret: No matter what he knows about us, he loves us still.

In the Wishbone, all you had to do was be a little afraid. – James Street on the secret to being a successful Wishbone quarterback

We have no secrets before God, and it’s no secret that he nevertheless loves us still.


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