Read a LSU Tigers Excerpt

Read a LSU Tigers Excerpt
OLD-FASHIONED GUY

Read Leviticus 18:1-5.

“You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God” (v. 4).

The heart and soul of the offense of the 2007 national championship team was a throwback, an old-fashioned kind of football player who was named for a John Wayne character and who emerged like some ghost from the 1950s.

As Sports Illustrated put it, “Contemporary football players don’t come much more retro than [Jacob] Hester, a married, hard-nosed runner.” Among LSU fans who know something of the program’s storied history, Hester was most often compared to All-American iron man Jim Taylor, a fullback and linebacker of the 1950s. Unlike Taylor, Hester didn’t get the chance to play both ways, but he came mighty close. During the 2007 season, he showed up on kickoff coverage, punt coverage, punt return, and extra point and field goal teams. He also started at fullback, leading the national champions in rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns while never fumbling once the entire season.

SI described Hester, who was named for the lead character in Big Jake, as “the consummate throwback player,” one who preferred to get his yards the hard way, by pounding inside and going through tacklers rather than around them. “I guess I am a little bit of an oddball,” Hester said about the way he played the game. “It’s an honor being called an old-school player.”

Hester’s style wasn’t all that was throwback about him; so was his appearance. He was a rarity in today’s game: a white running back who was a great team’s dominant rusher. Against Tennessee in 2006, Hester took off his headgear during a timeout, and a surprised Volunteer linebacker asked, “Shouldn’t you be playing running back for Air Force?”

When LSU head coach Les Miles, sportswriters, and fans alike described Jacob Hester as “old-fashioned,” they paid him a compliment. Usually, though, to refer to some person, some idea, or some institution as old-fashioned is to deliver a full-fledged insult. They’re out of step with the times and the mores, hopelessly out of date, totally irrelevant, and quite useless.

For the people of God, however, ”old-fashioned” is exactly the lifestyle we should pursue. The throwbacks are the ones who value honor, dignity, sacrifice, and steadfastness, who can be counted on to tell the truth and to do what they say. Old-fashioned folks shape their lives according to eternal values and truths, the ones handed down by almighty God.

These ancient laws and decrees are still relevant to contemporary life because they direct us to a lifestyle of holiness and righteousness that serves us well every single day. Such a way of living allows us to escape the ultimately hopeless life to which so many have doomed themselves in the name of being modern.

I guess I was born a little too late.-- Jacob Hester

The ancient lifestyle God calls us to still directs us to a life of contentment, peace, and joy, which never grows old-fashioned.


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