Read a Razorbacks Excerpt

Read a Razorbacks Excerpt
Beauty Contest

Read Matthew 23:23-28.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean” (v. 27).

Arkansas has a beauty queen to thank for one of its greatest athletes ever.

In 2000, readers of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette named Razor-back Clyde Scott the state’s Athlete of the Century. As a running back and a defensive back, Scott was three times All-Southwest Conference from 1946-48. He was All-America as a senior.

But Scott was probably even better at track than he was at football. He set a world record in the 110-meter high hurdles in the NCAA championships and claimed a second world record in the 100-yard dash. He won a silver medal in the hurdles in the 1948 Olympics. “He’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen,” said end Bud Canada, a teammate of Scott’s. Scott’s jersey number 12 is one of only two retired numbers in the football program’s history. (The other is Brandon Burlsworth’s 77.)

But he didn’t start out at Arkansas. Instead, Scott accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy where he was All-America in both football and track.

While he was there, though, he was given what must have been the extremely pleasant task of escorting about campus Miss Arkansas, who was on her way to the Miss America Pageant. They obviously hit it off. He invited her back up for the Army-Navy game, and when he went back home that summer, they decided to get married.

Since midshipmen couldn’t have a wife, a horse, or a dog, Scott’s naval career was over, and since his wife had just finished her sophomore year at Arkansas, he headed to Fayetteville.

Remember the brunette who sat behind you in history class? Or the blonde in English? And how about that hunk from the next apartment who washes his car every Saturday morning and just forces you to get outside earlier than you really want to?

We do love those beautiful people.

It is worth remembering amid our adulation of and quest for superficial beauty that popular magazines such as Vogue or People probably wouldn’t have been too enamored of Jesus’ looks. Isaiah 53 declares that our savior “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

Though Jesus never urged folks to walk around with body odor and unwashed hair, he did admonish us to avoid being overly concerned with physical beauty, which fades with age despite tucks and Botox. What matters to God is inner beauty, which reveals itself in the practice of justice, mercy, and faith, and which is not only lifelong but eternal.

"That was a big reason I came back [to Arkansas]." -- Clyde Scott, speaking of his wife

When it comes to looking good to God, it’s what’s inside that counts.


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