Bryan Price, manager of the Reds, is the talk of the town here in the Cincinnati area, though not in the way he would prefer, I’m sure. He’s not the talk of the town because he’s leading a winning ballclub. Quite the opposite, actually. The Reds are scuffling, and everyone is talking about him because of the profanity-laced tirade that he unleashed on some reporters.
In this rant, Price dropped the f-bomb a whopping 77 times in the span of about 5 ½ minutes. That requires some creative cussing, for sure! But more than that, it reveals the weight that he’s carrying. His club isn’t doing well. Things are not going as planned. And as a big league manager, he has to discuss his faltering club with the media multiple times on a daily basis. Every move he makes, good or bad, is scrutinized. People call in to sports talk shows to rip him. People log onto Twitter to complain and gripe about him. And for Price, it all came out in the form of 77 f-bombs (and various other profanities).
This is quite out of character for him. If anything, people have accused him of being too soft-spoken. He’s always been calm and even-keeled when speaking to reporters. That made yesterday’s diatribe pretty unbelievable.
But on the other hand, it was totally believable.
It’s believable because I see a little bit of myself in Bryan Price. And if you’re honest, you probably do, too.
I’m not saying that I’ll drop 77 f-bombs in less than 6 minutes. I probably could have in my younger days. When it came to cussing, I was pretty good at it. I’ve grown a little since then. But to be totally honest, there are still things that come out of my mouth sometimes that would surprise you. If you heard it, you might think, “A pastor shouldn’t say those things,” and you’d be right. But that’s actually my point.
I am imperfect. So is Bryan Price. And so are you.
When life seems to be tightening the screws on us, we don’t always handle it in the best way. Outbursts happen. Sometimes we lash out at people who had nothing to do with it. (Let’s be honest…the reporters who drew Price’s ire are not the reason the Reds had lost 7 of their last 8 games.) There are days when we can just be a real peach to be around.
Does that make it ok? Of course not. Does that make us human? Absolutely.
Lots of people are really piling on Bryan Price today. That goes with his position. And I don’t feel sorry for him. But in some ways, I can relate to him. He might be a Major League manager pulling in a handsome salary, but you know what else he is? He’s a broken person. And so am I. The only difference is that my brokenness is usually broadcast to a smaller audience.
But I’m thankful that God chooses to love me and use me in spite of me. Honestly, my brokenness is a vehicle to give God even more glory. Every time someone tells me, “Man, that sermon was exactly what I needed,” or something like that, God gets all the glory. He has to. There’s no way that someone as broken as me could do that. But God chooses to do some of His best work through broken people.
And that’s a good thing, because broken people are the only kind of people there are. That goes for me, for you, and for Bryan Price.
Mike Edmisten is Senior Pastor at Connect Christian Church.