Yesterday, Chad and I went to Indy to see our beloved Colts win the AFC Championship. I love watching football, especially NFL.
As Chad and I drove the 2 1/2 hours to Indy, I was so excited! The closer we got to the city, the more blue and white we saw. I was hyped for a great game and a great day for just the two of us (you know, like the olden days…). We had a great lunch at Bucca di Beppa’s and sat next to other Colts fans and talked about the game (mmmm….bread, Bucca’s pizza, fettucine alfredo…all incredibly fattening and oh so tasty!).
I love that my God is never not working on my heart. Even days like yesterday, when my mind is enjoying a day with my husband and a day to watch football, God is ever-present, ever working, ever changing me.
As we walked to the stadium, we passed hawkers selling their wares, street musicians playing for donations and homeless looking for help or a handout (I seriously think I saw both types…). God gave me a chance to see the sea of blue and white through their eyes. These people were purposely on the streets that lead into the stadium. They were not there on accident. To them, thousands of rich people would walk right past them and hopefully toss a dollar or two or buy a shirt or two. I looked around and saw opulence that was overwhelming.
After walking around different floors of the stadium, we found our seats. It was incredible to sit in this facility an hour before the game and watch people find their seats. The overwhelming opulence theme carried over to the stadium…a thousand fold! This was my first time in the Lucas Oil Stadium. Last year, Indianapolis built a brand new stadium a block away from the old RCA Dome. Lucas Oil, the city of Indianapolis and the Colts organization spent a whopping $720,000,000 on this new stadium that seats approximately 70,000 screaming fans. Apparently this stadium was designed after the Cowboys stadium. However, we all know you can’t keep up with the Jones’ and Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, built a new bigger and better stadium that opened for the Cowboys this year.
It’s that kind of opulence that blew me away yesterday. I sat in this incredible stadium that was built mainly as a home for the Indianapolis Colts. I sat quietly in a noisy facility and let my mind wander…. Here are my thoughts and guesses…
*I was still full from my high carb lunch at Bucca’s. Chad and I shared a side of fettucine alfredo and a pizza. We probably ate more in that one meal that a child in Haiti eats all week.
*I guess that this new home for the Colt’s (one the locals refer to as Peyton’s Place) cost more to build than it will cost to rebuild Port-Au-Prince.
*I figure there are more flushing toilets in Lucas Oil Stadium than in all of Port-Au-Prince right now.
*To go with all of the flushing toilets, there is more clean water to flush toilets, wash hands, mop floors and clean up at Peyton’s Place than in all of Port-Au-Prince.
*Chad and I guess that the vendors average one drink per person (there were many like us that didn’t buy any food or drinks but equally many that had more than 2 drinks). The average cost of a drink is $5. If 70,000 people spend only $5 on food or drinks…that is $350,000 in 2 1/2 hours! Wouldn’t the Red Cross love a donation of $350,000 for food, clothing and medical supplies?
*I saw most everyone in the stadium was wearing either Colts or Jets apparel. Speaking from experience, that apparel is not cheap (unless you can find a cast-off at Goodwill). My guess is the total money spent on jerseys, shirts, sweatshirts, beads, scarves, hats, wigs, makeup, etc is more than Haiti’s Gross National Product.
*As we exited, we saw overflowing trash cans. I would guess that there was enough wasted food to feed thousands of Haitian refugees at least one meal… as long as they would be willing to eat nachos, hot dogs, steak sandwiches, popcorn or fries.
*My mind wondered what would happen if everyone in that stadium dropped $10 in a bucket on their way out the door… $700,000 or more could be raised to help Haitians, AIDS victims in Africa, starving children in Asia, homeless in Indianapolis or any other quality charitable organization.
*The biggest thing that hit me was this…a very small percentage of those in attendance yesterday spent cash. The amount of money that was charged on credit cards is what is attributing to financial mess that the US is in. The credit card companies make it so easy to add to your debt while enjoying a game.
Driving home, my heart was sickened at the overwhelming opulence in America… even the $100+ that Chad and I spent on tickets, fuel, food and parking for a day away. My heart was troubled because I saw myself in the midst of that opulence…a player in that game, a statistic… rather than one who gave $100+ to the Red Cross and consequently chose to stay home and watch the game with my kids on tv.
Chad and I love to convince ourselves that we are generous. To a certain degree, I think we are. However, yesterday was a wake up call to me. There is so much more we can give and do to reach out to others in need.
Please hear me say, I don’t think there was anything wrong in going to yesterday’s game and I am so thankful that Chad and I had the opportunity. We had a great time together! I am equally thankful that God was working on me in the midst of an NFL championship game. I just want to be more generous, more giving, more conscious of those around me…instead of being conscious of my own place in a stadium full of overwhelming opulence.