TFC Eagles Football Ready for the Upcoming Season

Last fall’s TFC Eagles football team was a tremendous flop, but this year, spring workouts starts, and a new coaching staff is moving in to foster our grid iron talent. For the new students in TFC, last year’s team was fraught with difficulties that naturally arise with a new team. For example, last year it took three weeks and five deprogramming classes to convince many students that football does not consist of kicking a ball in a netted goal. After finally persuading athletes of this, coaches found that TFC had a plethora of wide receivers and corners, but nobody with the mass to block, tackle, or put on the fifty pound equipment that is required. Needless to say the team was undersized, and got pummeled aggressively, and in many cases, caused some to question their faith.

Though in a last ditch effort to restore the team morale after losing six consecutive games, and filling up Nurse Marsha’s work load, coaches scattered to find any backups they could. They even recruited from the theology department, but divisions arose between free choice and predestination, and caused a heated debate at half time, leading to a walk off, which convinced those Calvinists in the crowd, that TFC was destined to lose anyway.

Although, the first season of Eagles football was a wheezing travesty, this next season offers hope to those hardcore football fans. The Athletics Department has made coaching changes and has also altered their strategies to ready the athletes for pigskin success. Since defense was a major problem last year, the staff has added Red N. Amy, and her chapel team, to strengthen the player’s abilities. Asked why she is specifically qualified to lead a defensive charge, she added that she has successfully managed to defend against worshippers who wished to dance in the chapel. She quotes, “preventing the dancing is a passion of mine, and if I can stifle that, it shouldn’t be difficult to cut off a receiver’s route…it’s about footwork and dedication.”

If this isn’t intimidating enough to the opposing teams, Natale Veara, successful in blocking all students trying to leave chapel early, with an impeccable record of ruthlessness, has been given the job of offensive line coach. Her record is remarkable as she has taken chapel workers each weighing sixty pounds soaking wet, and have turned them into an impenetrable force of blocking machinery. When asked how she has accomplished this goal she adds, “nothing short of diarrhea can excuse an early departure.” With these two coaching additions the Toccoa Falls Eagles football season is showing promise in the upcoming season.

Besides the coaching additions, there are also new strategies to inspire the athletes. With the lack of bulk last season, the entire team, starting after Easter, will be fed a steady diet of cafeteria pizza, and will be forced to watch, Facing the Giants, for continued motivation. There will also be a huge recruitment from the baseball team, since a few extra pounds around the gut will have a positive effect on the line. For condition training they are to carry all the books necessary for Intermediate Greek on their back at all times, and for grip training, they will ride the TFC bus on back roads, with no shocks, wheezing brakes, while trying to hold a football in their hands.

These are just a few techniques to whip the team into condition to play against bigger opponents, mainly, the middle school golf team, and the Habersham Chess Club. But Head Coach Dr. Ryan Snelldon, is hopeful of the season, mainly because he resembles John Harbaugh, and also because he has a secret weapon. When asked what it is, he coyly smiled, and hinted, that it has nothing to do with strategy, and everything to do with trading the TFC waterfall to the New York Jets and getting  Tim Tebow in its place. “He also does not appreciate Rob Bell’s philosophy,” Snelldon adds as he comments to confused reporters. With Tebow’s future set in Toccoa, the Mr. TFC competition suddenly has a new and imposing contestant.

Besides the additional coaching staff, the strategies, and Tebow, there is tremendous support for the sport among faculty and students. Dr. William Donalds, confused the team last season when he tried to inspire the team in Old English, quoting, Beowulf. This year he says, he has learned to adapt to his environment, and instead will only quote Chaucer in Middle English, which he says, will allow the team to easily relate and, “thus, become irrevocably motivated.”  Though the team played at the flood plains, and the sideline tapered off into the stream, and half of the bleachers sunk into the mud, the turnout of faculty and staff was favorable, and promises to draw more of a crowd with their new stadium, The Robert Gundry Zaxby’s Alliance Dome, built in the spot where the married students used to reside.

So get ready, bring yourself to cheer for the home team, and watch the Eagles soar. Where else are you going to go to find spirited competition, hard-nosed, bloody, bone crunching warriors, battling in a game of wills, in a struggle for every inch or advantage? That’s right, the Philosophy Club, but if they are busy, then try our football team. It could be a great season!

 

(Writer’s note: The names in this article are fictional as well as the idea that TFC has a football team. No guinea pigs were harmed in the making of this article, and the only tree that was killed was the one I chopped down to contemplate my deep ruminations as I typed this.)

Napolean Dynamite Night

Where can you find a live llama, a 20 lb. bunny rabbit, some students yacking up milk and trying to step around the congealed puddles that form around them, and a cafeteria, that, for a change, is adequately providing its hungry masses with healthy food such as tater tots and quesadillas? The answer is, the same place where you can draw a Lyger, or create a bracelet, or do some karaoke to Disney songs.

In an attempt to create a tribute event for the film, Napoleon Dynamite, the SGA, on February 25th, threw a celebration that would make even the greatest skeptics mutter in a low monotone accent and say, “Garwsh!” As the events took place, I talked to the SGA vice president, Emily Ambrose, and asked her who had the imaginative brilliance to come up with this activity. She very humbly informed me that it was a group effort of all the members of the SGA.

From the student center lounge to the dining hall, the night was filled with reminders of the highly intense comedy. In the lobby, there was karaoke singing. Though all of the song selections were Disney tunes, the students didn’t seem to mind. From there, the curious student could spend their time imitating Deb and making their own colorful bracelets, or drawing a Lyger, the mythological creature of Napoleon’s design, or watching the grisly excitement of the milk drinking contest, situated outside.

If that wasn’t enough excitement, students shared the privilege of petting an obese bunny rabbit, or the disgruntled llama, or some chickens, or a goat, in the petting zoo. Ambrose informed me that the animals were courtesy of a Toccoa Falls alumnus who has connections at a facility called Wildlife Wonders. We would have had them to thank if the llama decided to run amuck through the dorms and attack students, but unfortunately it behaved. However, although the llama was peaceful the students were not.

There were the violent sounds of regurgitation outside of the steps headed towards the library. Four brave students decided to enter themselves in the milk drinking contest, Nick Egbert, Quinn Angel, Andrew Ether, and Matthew Sanders. The goal was to simply see how much milk one can drink, and though there may have been one definite winner, all of the students that witnessed the bright white milk splashing out into the concrete came out enlightened in some way.

From there however, the contest winners in the events were debatable. Some attending thought The Deb look-alike contest was clearly won by Amanda Anderson based on the greater applause, and better costume, but Crystal Hankin was declared the winner by the SGA member in charge.

However, this was barely noticed as students gathered into the dining hall with their trays filled to the brim with tater tots and quesadillas. There was a large projector and the movie played smoothly, with only one glitch, and students loved the movie as if it just came out. So despite it all, the Napoleon Dynamite event was a supreme success. Evidence of the fun will be drying in the sun Monday morning near the steps to the dining hall.

Autonomy Day is Here

If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend yet that you know you are destined to marry , welcome to TFC new students. It is pervasive though, isn’t it, the feeling of loneliness that can sometimes be overwhelming in a place where God seems to be sprouting up couples like weeds. Okay, bad term, perhaps turnips, beets, radishes, I don’t know. And now there is Valentine’s Day coming up, so those of us who are single have to be badgered by that, and blinded by the gleaming smiles of those that are holding hands, and skipping our way after classes.

What is the solution the single people clamor and ask? It does not lie in those internet Christian dating sites thinking you are talking to Sally, a blonde twenty one year old worship coordinator with a heart for God, when really it is Sal, a bloated, veiny, fifty-seven year old factory worker who has a heart for National Lampoon movies and a pet python named Bellmont. That’s beside the point. The main point I was trying to make was, for the single person, Valentine’s Day can be intolerable at best, and torturous to those that cannot express the romantic and poetic surges of love to a blushing rosy face.

It was something that drove me into fits of discouragement where I would huddle in the corner and listen to the music of fat bugs splattering against my ceiling fan. Then, one very depressed Valentine’s Day, I started thinking about the past, and how great things were without the adult presence and pressure of needing some significant other as an avenue to happiness.

I thought of one particular Valentine’s day, still the best I have ever had, where my parents were gone, and I watched Terminator  and I had mounds of candy, bags of chips, plates of pizzas (okay, only one plate), and was perfectly content as a young whimsical lad spending Valentine’s Day alone. In fact, it was a supreme pleasure.

So reflecting on that, and comparing that with my current state, I asked myself, why should couples have all of the holidays to their grubby selves? Why should that fun that I experienced as a boy not filter out into my manhood state where scripture even commends single-hood? So I invented Autonomy Day…a day that people who are single, alone, smelly, etc. can enjoy the pleasures of doing whatever they want..depending on what state or country you are in you may be prosecuted.

But there is freedom in Autonomy Day! Celebrate this day with me and many others and revisit your childlike joy, the same joy you realized when your parents were going away, and you could shoot paint-balls in the house, or, like some of you, listen to The Adventures Of Odyssey. It is a day where we realize our freedom and not listen to the disparaging propaganda that you need to have a guy or a girl to be happy.

Here are the guidelines to Autonomy Day. You wake up. Then you do whatever you want. Imagine the bondage that the rest of the world is going to be in as you roller-skate down the highway clad only in a diaper. Think of those poor saps that have to pretend to be romantic, and who have to spend the day walking on egg shells, uttering words that will be used against them in the next argument, and watching hard earned dollars swallowed up in the forms of those little square chocolates. It is almost sad really. While they are in chains, we will be free to experience Autonomy Day.

Do not listen to the internet names. Single Awareness Day…like it’s a disease. Something online said, “Forever Alone.” That is too depressing. We don’t need that negativity in our lives.  Autonomy. Autonomy…what a word, what a name…what a holiday. Let us take back some of these holidays starting February, uh, I don’t know, whenever Valentines Day is, the 14th maybe.

Trent Monk Performs: Poetic Vision, Christian Ascetic,Talented Musician

Last Thursday, February 2nd, our little student lounge was filled with hushed whispers and people reclining comfortably, listening to the poetic rhythms of Trent Monk. The setting was intimate, with the lights dimmed so he was the main focus as he ran his trained fingers across his guitar and displayed remarkable range, with his voice quieting his college audience with poetic verses.

After a brief interview with the thirty three year old musician, and hearing his wide variety of lyrics, I was moved by his vision and the unique way that God is using him. Unlike some popular Christian artists, Trent Monk’s lyrics are deeply poetic and thought provoking. No matter what style he plays in, whether it is reggae, blues, or soft acoustic, his verses are highly visual and usually entwined with his life’s journey.

When asking him what he thinks of bands like David CrowderThird Day, and other groups that focus on worship with repetition and simple choruses, his answer was unexpected.

“There’s a time and a place for that genre. I love that type of music too.”

Although those simplistic worship songs are not his style, the worship aspect of them is evident in his lyrics. In his song, “The Twenty-first Time,” he sings about what it really means to be the body of Christ, and what our responsibility as representatives of this looks like.

The first verse begins with a downtrodden man, homeless, sleeping under the stars at the corner of Carter and Vine, and though he is in misery, he is passed by again and again. He is one of the world’s poor, with his hand out in cry of help but is ignored although he is constantly noticed. The second verse is about a woman who is twenty-nine who feels forty-eight and is trying to raise her kids, while forced to go into the welfare system. The chorus is repentance for the callous behavior of passing over them and a call to action to his listening audience.

When I needed a savior, I found him

              He gave to me, so I give back to them”.

This is a plea for compassion is for anyone that professes that they are the hands and feet of Christ. It is a message that we all need to be reminded of, and Monk, through his highly visual and poetic style, relays this message with anguish in his voice, and tremendous versatility on guitar.

This versatility and precision is present in his playing as well as the topics of the songs he chooses. Whether it is singing a love song to his wife (that made all the girls swoon), belting a chorus to discourage Christian complacency in the church, or playing a lightning fast solo to one of his blues style songs, Monk knows that he has been given a divine gift. The life lessons and humbling experiences he has had along the way fuel his lyrics and presence on stage.

Perhaps that is why his songs are authentic, because to Monk, there is no separation between faith, art, and life. As the crowd in the student center looks on Monk cries out:

My heart is dying, Lord I’m crying out for help…I fall to the ground, I want to be better”.

But through this darkness, there sprouts joy, beauty, and peace. His song, “Paradise,” is a tribute to the calm when God is in control. He praises the Lord’s sovereignty under the reggae influenced, “Beautiful You”, as the crowd participates, clapping to the island beat. Under the upbeat bluesy feel, “Into Orbit”, he sings about a relationship that will never fail, never discourage, and ends it with a spirited solo, alternating between diverse guitar distortions.

It was a pleasure to see that Christian music can be creative, moving, energetic, and genuine, as Monk demonstrated. So many times we repeat the same words in unison and they lose meaning. With Monk’s music that is impossible because, like a good poem, the lyrics, the complexity of the style, and the heart behind the words, offer fresh insights into the character of God.

There are seasons of brokenness, repentance, joy, strength, power, and peace in the Christian walk and music should reflect every aspect of the journey. I was gladly surprised when Monk proved this to the TFC community. It was a refreshing change of pace, a break from complacency, and a good pattern for any Christian artist to follow.

If you missed him last Thursday or you were impressed and want to find out more, or support him, catch him on Facebook, YouTube, or iTunes. I’m sure he would appreciate the encouragement.

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