Faith on the wall (not in story)

jeffcoatIt's another NFL Sunday, so it's time for another God and the gridiron story. Or, rather, it's time for a story about the gridiron that doesn't include God and I wonder why.

To understand what I'm talking about, click right here and take a look at the art for a recent USA Today story about former Dallas Cowboy great Jim Jeffcoat and his family -- especially the super prospect Jackson Jeffcoat who is getting so much attention, even as a high-school star (as is his twin sister, hoops star Jacqueline).

Now, I cannot use the actual photo with this post because it's a USA Today photo and I don't have the rights to it. But you can't understand this short post without seeing the photo.

So, again, click here and look at it -- very carefully.

See anything? See any rather obvious symbolism looming over this family as it gathers for a meal?

Unless my eyes aren't working right, I think there are 17 crosses on that wall, if I am counting right, and it's clear that we're not seeing the whole wall. Do you see the crosses? Did any members of the USA Today team assigned to this story see them?

Now, as for the story itself, the headline is about this proud father and his role in holding his large family together: "Ex-Cowboy Jeffcoat provides guidance to his athletic family." Here's the thesis statement about this highly motivated crew:

The key to their success, however, can't be summed up simply through genetics, though their grandfather played briefly in the NBA; two uncles played in the NFL; and Jaren, the oldest of the four Jeffcoat children at 21, plays basketball at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., and recently passed up an offer to play professionally in Mexico.

"We've done a lot of hard work. We've been very motivated," says Jackson, who averaged 11.8 points and eight rebounds last season. "That's how our family is. We like to compete."

The twins call themselves best friends. They share social circles, but they're cognizant of boundaries.

"We have a standard to keep. He's taught us so much about when we get to college what not to do and how to be coachable players," Jacqueline says of her father. "It would be a lot harder if he wasn't there. We've been prepared for things better than other kids."

And it's clear that the dad played a crucial role. He wasn't like many of the other gridiron gods -- he was and is a family man.

That's it.

That's the story.

I wish I could write more about it, but I can't. Apparently all of those crosses on the wall are just decorative and have nothing to do with this unique father and his close-knit family, along with its unique set of values. The crosses cover the wall, but in the story? It's just haunted.

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