19 Comments


  1. Marcia,

    I’m remembering a conversation we had, sitting cross-legged on the floor of the Birmingham Convention Center, about the contrast between ministry and NFL coaching. But this post points out for me the similarities. I’m praying for a smooth and blessed transition for you and your family to wherever God has in mind next.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Julie. I remember that conversation, too. Obviously I am still wrestling with what all this means! Such is life I guess in football, in the church, in the world in general. Thanks for the prayers–smooth would be great, blessed even better.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  2. Amy Jackson Sellers

    Marcia,
    I think the silver lining here is that you were able to experience a family life in football at all. That means that, wherever you go next, you will know what steps you might be able to take to find that balance again. It may be a lot more difficult, depending on the head coach, but at least you will know how to try to create that path. Before UNC, I’m not sure either of you knew that path could exist. So hopefully, the blessings you experienced at UNC will be–in some way–repeatable.
    We’re hoping for a soft landing after all this turmoil.
    Much love, Amy

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Amy. You are so right! Our horizon of possibility and our imagination of what is possible are expanded. And, if nothing else, this was a refueling time for whatever is next. Who knows, there may be some opportunities for something we can’t imagine even now, too. Thanks for your support and for reading.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  3. Rich

    Marcia,
    I’m an old friend of your husband’s who hasn’t seen him in a long time but have of course followed his travels around football and I’ve recently found your blog and been reading it on a regular basis. It is a great insight into the life of a family and its trials.

    Seems to me there is an NFL offensive coordinator job open in John’s hometown. He’s been an OC in the NFL before, maybe being in such an environment would make the crazy life a bit more sane.

    Rich Perkins

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Hi Rich,
      Thanks for reading and for commenting. It’s great to hear from an old friend of John’s. You’re right about the Steelers having a job open. Not sure if it would make the life saner or crazier–maybe a little of both! We are trying to remain open to a few different scenarios out there right now. Hope all is well with you and that you will keep reading.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  4. Kelly Furbee

    Once again, another great post Marcia. I saw that you tweeted this to Coach Dungy. I hope he answers you. Not that I know him, but based on his book I read, if any big time football coach can offer insights as to maintaining a sane family life, he’s the one. I will pray for wisdom and peace for you and your family during this transition.

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Kelly, for reading and commenting. I thought the same thing about Tony Dungy. I bet he has some thoughts on the topic. Hopefully he’ll take a look.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply

  5. Marcia,

    I had a couple thoughts reading your insightful post.

    One: in a very male institution, the obsessive analysis of plays and film reflects a very male orientation to the world. Case in point: my husband, who doesn’t need human conversation with tons of people and loves to be “left alone,” can stay on the phone with his brother or a friend for three hours discussing a game. i ask, “So what what achieved here?” I know this sounds ridiculous to professionals whose film and game analysis makes huge differences to the next contest, but my point is about gender and how certain ways of seeing the world form a profession. Likewise, I’ve worked in very female office environments (schools) where the women delight (and obsess) in analyzing the play-by-play moves of their fellow man, which can lead to a lot of gossip and also a lot of thoughtful care-taking.

    I bring all this up to say that we’ve been asking questions of football and the Catholic Church lately, acknowledging that institutions dominated by one gender can lead to both brilliant things and very dark things.

    Two, family has not been not a male priority, biologically or socially, in the Western industrialized world. The job is the end-all be-all. So men like John must fight to make that time against severe pressures of work and demands that they give their body and soul to the football fight. To me, in this way, they’re as trapped as women are with fewer choices, even if society does laud the males more with money and accolades.

    The fact that your family found a place where things changed says so much about the people you are and the journey you’re on. As a confessed workaholic myself, I value the changes you’ve made and stepping out on faith, in all things. I continue to admire the Mount Shoops so very much!

    Lyn

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you for your insights, Lyn. I am glad you took the time to share these reflections. I agree with you that men are “caught” in a very constrained place in this culture. I heard a story on NPR a few months ago about how this new generation of males coming into the workplace has better boundaries after seeing their fathers, uncles, etc. get downsized out of companies they worked for all their careers. The younger generation values “having a life” and friendships and doesn’t necessarily see the wisdom in giving everything to the workplace after seeing how their elders were treated by the places to whom they gave so much. Some interesting and important lessons there for all for all of us!
      Thank you, Lyn. You always help me find some great places to really dig deeper.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply

  6. Marcia, well that just sucks. I’m mad at the situation and thought I’d express it. I really don’t like these open comments since I prefer writing directly and privately – person to person – but I wanted to go on record as being mad and frustrated at your situation. No need to comment back as that may inspire even more choice words from me and I don’t want to litter your blog with expletives. Regardless of my bad attitude, I will certainly be in prayer with you. Kathy

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Kathy. You are a good friend! I thank you for your prayers. And I’m glad you went on record.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  7. Kate McGregor Mosley

    Marcia – your posts always give me hope for blogs. Thank you for your heartfelt writing, as a way to understand the world a little better but also selfishly as a window into your world. I feel like we’ve had a good conversation over a glass of wine. I’m holding you and John in the Light now as you face yet another transition. ALWAYS keep us posted if you find yourself near us. We’d love to host you time and time again. Peace, dear friend, peace…

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you for posting, Kate. I’ll hope for a good conversation over a glass of wine in the near future! Thank you for your prayers and for the peace. I need both right now.
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  8. Janet Beatty

    Winter. I think it doesn’t matter where you live or what you do, winter is a down time, there doesn’t seem to be any end to the short days, cold nights, rain (or snow). I think of your family situation as being in the winter of life. It is hard, sometimes, to remember the carefree summer days of youth. But I was over at my garden this morning, pulling weeds in order to prepare for spring planting, and a silly little volunteer tomato plant had poked through the mud. It is the reminder that new life begins, sometimes even where we didn’t plant it! I don’t have any words of wisdom for your future, Marcia. It is hard. Winters are always hard. But I have great faith in spring, even when I don’t know where it is. Have faith in that little tomato plant! You never know what will crop up!

    Reply
    1. Marcia

      Thank you, Janet. You did indeed have words of wisdom. That little tomato plant, who may be trying to push the envelope a bit, is a symbol of hope and reminds me of the importance of letting the winters really run their course. Spring time feels good, but if you try to rush it then you won’t be around to enjoy the rebirth when it is really time.
      Thank you for the reminder!
      Peace,
      Marcia

      Reply
  9. Football Mother

    Someone on Inside Carolina linked to your blog and I’m very glad they did. It gives me an opportunity to let you know how much your husband was respected and admired by my son and our family. My son went to UNC football camp during his high school summers and “Shoop” made him feel very good about himself and his abilities. He went on to be a very successful high school QB. But the best part is that while our team was playing for a state championship in Kenan Stadium, Shoop took the time to come down to the field and speak to my son. He also took the time to speak to him during an Old Well Walk one time. I want you to know, that as a Carolina family, we will miss Coach Shoop and Coach Davis being a part of the university and team. I will certainly go on record as saying that I did not agree with how things have transpired and believe that Chapel Hill has lost two (and others I am sure) really good men. But the cream always rises to the top and I’m sure Coach Shoop will have a wonderful career wherever he ends up. And as all of women know, behind every good man is an even better woman, which says volumes about you!

    Reply

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