Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a HUGE Peyton Manning fan. That being said, this week Chris Lofton has risen to the level of Mr. Manning in my mind as a one of the greatest Tennessee Volunteers.
Lofton is the subject of one of the most fascinating sports stories I have ever read – and I’ve read more than most. The article, which can be read HERE, details the life changing crisis that is cancer and how Chris Lofton overcame it.
The most amazing part of the story is: That there was no story. After the Ohio State vs. Tennessee Sweet Sixteen game in last years NCAA Tourney it was revealed to Chris and his family that a random drug test showed it was very possible that he might have cancer. Sure enough, after more tests were run Chris’ greatest fear was realized – he indeed did have testicular cancer.
Chris Lofton was the SEC Basketball player of the year – an All American calibre athlete, the unquestioned face of Tennessee Basketball at the time. So there was no doubt this news would send shockwaves not only through his team, but through the country of Basketball fans.
What does this young man, who has faced obstacle after obstacle in the basketball arena do? He tells only a select few people about his situation – not even all of his family. Why? Because of the enormous distraction it would cause his teammates and basketball program. Because of the atmosphere it would create in rival arenas. Because it was a personal and private battle he wanted to bare without the public’s knowledge.
He went through radiation treatments, faced extreme illness, cried a ‘river full’ – without us knowing. When he struggled in his game play early in the season, and recieved mountains of critisicm, it would have been so easy, and understandable for him to just come out and say: Hey, I’m fighting cancer and the SEC – give me a break!” But, he didn’t.
The real story is this: Chris sacrificed himself for the betterment of others.
Wow! what a lesson for us. Most of us can’t go 10 minutes without spilling the latest gossip we heard in Sunday school. Or, we can’t hold our tongue to save our lives about how we “don’t really care for _______”.
Thanks Chris for a lesson in godliness. “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus…” – Philippians 2:3-5