Former New Orleans Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Culture

Feb 14, 2019 by Alyssa Duvall

Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson After Crushing Loss: "The Christ-Follower Can Grieve With Hope"

In an edifying article for The Increase, a ministry for Christian pro athletes, former New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson recalled the crushing loss in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Rams after a blatant lack of an interference call that may have cost the Saints the game, but pointed toward the hope he has above and beyond his sport.

“It’s one thing to lose, it’s another thing to go out on a note like we did. It’s hard when there is some sort of injustice or bad call that you have no control of,” Watson wrote. “It was a long week after the NFC Championship Game.”

“Ending is never easy in any capacity,” he said. “Every athlete understands that.”

Watson was sidelined for the controversial NFC Championship Game because of appendix issues and said it was brutal to watch helplessly as the game unfolded.

The father of five explained how he had one of his good friends, “the same one who came to pray over my back at the beginning of the season,” pray over his appendix, and he immediately started to feel better. Still, his coaches decided to play the teammates who had attended practices that week, and Watson was benched.

“It’s now the end of the season, and the end of my career as far as I know,” he wrote. “It’s not how I wanted it to end, but a lot of things in life aren’t as you want them to be.”

“The mourning process of a season — of unmet expectations — is a natural one,” he said, explaining that “grief is OK.”

Grief is a part of all humanity, Watson explained, for believers and unbelievers. “The difference is,” he added, “the Christ-follower can grieve with hope.”

“We have an eternal perspective, even though sometimes we lose sight of it. I’m still working through this ending, and I will be for some time."

“When things don’t go my way, I want [my teammates] to know that I’ll still be a good teammate, with a good attitude. And when things do go my way, I want to be known to be gracious with the successes achieved," he continued.

Watson also hopes his teammates feel that he “challenged them spiritually, helping them draw closer to the Lord.”

“I want them to know I’m serious about my faith. I hope they feel like I’m trustworthy, willing to have conversations about things outside of the game. I try to listen and invest in my teammates’ lives in any way that I can," he declared. "I want them to know I’m someone who will stand beside them in the tough times. I want them to be inspired to get involved in their community, to be a faithful husband or father.”



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