Read a Tiger Excerpt

Read a Tiger Excerpt

Read Genesis 37:1-11.

“Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours”
(v. 3) (KJV).

When the fans saw what the Clemson football team was wearing, they gasped in dismay. Then they roared in approval.

The 3-1-1 Tigers had gone two games without a win when undefeated North Carolina State charged into town on Nov. 2, 1991. They needed to shake things up, change some things. What they changed were their jerseys.

After warming up in their usual bright orange, the Tigers pulled a switch in the dressing room and stunned the home crowd by reappearing in purple jerseys for the first time in 52 years. While purple and orange are the official school colors, “the magenta hue [had] been largely forgotten amid the orange mania that [had] gripped the program and its fans for years.”

The Tigers stopped wearing purple after the 1939 season when someone convinced coach Jess Neely that purple made the players too hot. Since then, the jerseys had been orange or white.

But the team’s seniors had pressured team equipment manager Doug Gordon to “get us something different.” So in the spring he purchased the purple jerseys. After a tie with Virginia, Gordon reminded the seniors of the jerseys, and they asked Coach Ken Hatfield for permission to wear them.

“At first,” said split end Terry Smith, “I thought, Oh, man, these are ugly. But once we put them on, it was sort of cool. And I believe the fans really liked it.”

The fans really liked what they saw in the purple jerseys. Sporting their new duds, the Tigers whipped N.C. State 29-19.

Contemporary society proclaims that it’s all about the clothes. Buy that new suit or dress, those new shoes, and all the sparkling accessories – maybe even change your jersey colors -- and you’ll be a new person. The changes are only cosmetic, though; under those clothes, you’re the same person. The Tigers still had to go out and play good football whether their jerseys were orange, white, or purple. And consider Joseph prancing about in his pretty new clothes; he was still a spoiled tattletale whose brothers despised him.

Jesus never taught that we should run around half-naked or wear only second-hand clothes from the local mission. He did warn us, though, against making consumer items such as clothes a priority in our lives. A follower of Christ seeks to emulate Jesus not through material, superficial means such as wearing special clothing like a robe and sandals. Rather, the disciple desires to match Jesus’ inner beauty and serenity -- whether the clothes the Christian wears are the sables of a king or the rags of a pauper.

You can't call [golf] a sport. You don't run, jump, you don't shoot, you don't pass. All you have to do is buy some clothes that don't match. -- Former major leaguer Steve Sax

Where Jesus is concerned, clothes don't make the person; faith does.

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