Read a Red Raiders Excerpt

Read a Red Raiders Excerpt
Laugh It Up

Read Genesis 21:1-7.

“Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me’” (v. 6).

A Texas Tech press conference once turned humorous when a disgruntled Mike Leach turned the microphones over to a pair of his offensive linemen.

On their way to a sensational 11-win season that ended with a berth in the Cotton Bowl, the 2008 Red Raiders smashed SMU 43-7 in their third game. Despite the easy win, Leach was “steamed about the play of his quarterbacks and receivers in the game.” So the head coach tapped senior center Stephen Hamby and junior guard Brandon Carter to speak for the offense at the weekly news conference on Monday.

Hamby got the humor under way when he “offered to push all those receivers who Leach scorned for dropping passes.” After all, he had caught a deflected pass in week two’s 35-19 defeat of Nevada. “I’m actually trying out for the new ‘X’ position (Tech’s split end),” he told the press. “I heard that was up.”

Hamby also told of the SMU game’s funniest play. Quarterback Graham Harrell set out to check off the play with 5 seconds left on the play clock. “What are you doing?” Hamby asked, fearing a delay-of-game penalty. So Harrell looked over to All-American receiver Michael Crabtree and shouted for all to hear, “Just run a vertical!” Hamby said he looked up and saw the defense lined up as though they thought Harrell was lying. He wasn’t. Touchdown to Crabtree. The center told his quarterback, “Real Mature. Real cool.” Harrell’s smiling response was, “Did you like that?”

Carter kept the conference lighthearted when he related how he got the black eye he sported. It seems he turned the wrong way during a pregame walk-through at the team hotel and ran into backup center Shawn Byrnes. “I was peeking out half my eye the whole game, but that’s all right,” Carter said.

Stand-up comedians -- even when they’re offensive linemen -- are successful because they find humor in the world, and it’s often hard for us to do that. “Laughter is foolish,” an acerbic Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 2:2, his angst overwhelming him because he couldn’t find much if anything in his world to laugh at.

We know how he felt. When we take a good look around at this world we live in, can we really find much to laugh at? It seems everywhere we look we find not just godlessness but ongoing and pervasive tragedy and misery.

Well, we can recognize as Sarah did that in God’s innumerable gifts lie irresistible laughter. The great gift of Jesus provides us with more than enough reason to laugh no matter our situation. Through God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we can laugh at death, at Satan, at the very gates of hell, at the world’s pain.

Because they are of this world, our tears will pass. Because it is of God, our laughter will remain – forever.

"I just remember the jog to the end zone was tiring." -- Brandon Carter’s humorous account of a long TD pass vs. SMU

Of the world, sorrow is temporary; of God, laughter is forever.

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