First of all, here’s the video. Below, I’ll explain the genesis of this project and how it surprisingly came to be a reality in the services at Christ Community Church.

Some time in January, I was in a message planning meeting coming up with ideas that revolved around stubbornness. However, we just didn’t want to show stubbornness as a bad thing. One of the ideas I came up with was a quote from Chuck Noll, the four-time Super Bowl winning coach.

Being stubborn is a virtue when you’re right; it’s only a character flaw when you’re wrong.
Everyone liked the quote, and it did a good job of encapsulating the angle we were going for with the topic of stubbornness in the message.
I was then asked to find some clips that would show stubbornness, in the vein of “not giving up”. I was recommended Ice Age and Home Alone, since those films have characters who are “stubbornly” going after something. While I pulled together those clips, I wasn’t sure that was the angle to be going for with this piece. I thought of athletes who have overcome almost insurmountable odds through stubborn commitment.

The first thing I thought of was the Boston Red Sox comeback, against the New York Yankees, when they were down three game to none in the 2004 ALCS. I thought it did a great job of showing a stubborn belief in themselves while the rest of the world thought they were going to lose. I didn’t think it had a good chance of being used though.

I put together a montage together of various “stubbornness” clips: movies, cartoons, sports and more.* One of the clips I put in the montage was solely to amuse Steve Yost. Steve is a coworker, and sits in on the message team meetings where they give the green light on a creative idea. Steve is also a fanatical Huskers fan. During the height of recruiting season, we’d text each other when one of us found out some piece of recruiting news. This meant we got texts during meetings, but we didn’t care.

*The clip I wanted to use? A montage of scenes from Better Off Dead where the paperboy keeps asking for his two dollars.

So, in the montage I put in the clip of Tommie Frazier’s run against Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. I knew Steve would get a kick out of it. It’s one of my favorite plays by my favorite Husker, but I didn’t expect it to be selected out of the various clips I pulled. I should have known better.

I often tell coworkers that whenever they have to speak publicly, it never hurts to mention the Huskers. It’s a given, it’s a cliche in this area, but it almost never fails to engage the audience. I should have remembered this when I was told the Tommie Frazier clip had been selected to be played in the service.

I laughed. And, I was stoked.

To someone outside of Nebraska, it probably fits the stereotype of the state. A church in the state playing Husker clips in their services. Yep. Granted, the clip fit the angle we were going with, and a good percentage of the audience would like the clip. So we went with it.

At first, I was asked to mix in some other quotes about stubbornness that were a bit more spiritual and serious and would balance out the Tommie Frazier clip. I collected quotes from C.S. Lewis and Anne Lamott. Those didn’t flow well with the clip, though. I was then asked to get quotes about stubbornness from other sports figures. I had the Chuck Noll quote still, and then I put together something around Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson. He had been accused of being stubborn when he first traded Brett Favre, but that stubbornness paid off in a Super Bowl victory.

In the end, it was decided to go all out with the Huskers theme with the piece. Color scheme, quotes and Tommie Frazier stats. Because of other projects I was working on, the piece was put together quickly a few days before it played. The graphics were kept minimal, and the quality of video I used wasn’t good. The overall clip is not something I’d put on a reel highlighting my work.

However, the one element I liked that I did add, since we went with the Huskers theme, was the tunnel walk music.* I’m glad I put that in. It puts the piece over the top in a number of ways.

*A few weeks earlier, I was tweeting with some friends (Dan Holke and Josh Allen) about potential music to use with creative videos. We joked about using Alan Parsons’ Project’s “Sirius” because of the Huskers connection.

I thought this was possibly the cheesiest thing I’d produced. It was definitely the most homer thing I’d produced. Still, it made me laugh and I couldn’t wait for it to play in the services.

What happened when the clip did play? Well, in one of the venues there was boisterous cheering by people as the clip built to a crescendo with Tommie scoring a touchdown.

All for Jesus. 😉

2 thoughts on “The Creative Piece That Started Off As An Inside Joke

  1. YES! I love this! What fun to hear that music, which I actually connect to the Chicago Bulls of the 90's, played in church to get us motivated to learn about stubbornness. Great work Robert – well played. 🙂 (All Husker fans had big smiles on their faces when this played in service I'm sure!)

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  2. Thanks Dan! I updated the post to add the bit about Josh, you and I joking about using “Sirius” in the services. Little did I know it would only take a few weeks before I did!

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