Proverbs 9:11-12

For because of me your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage,
but if you are a mocker, you alone must bear it.

I am a big Ohio State Buckeyes fan. And not just in my physical size. I’m a big fan of Buckeyes football. I grew up in Ohio, and unfortunately when I was growing up the team was never great. They did win the Rose Bowl one year, but most of the time the team would disappoint us. They just couldn’t win the big games. Which means they couldn’t beat Michigan or win Bowl games. But we all stuck together. We were all fans together. We lived in Ohio, the Buckeye state.

Then, I moved out to the Pacific Northwest. Things were a little different out here. People don’t like the Buckeyes out here. They like Pac-10 (at the time there were still only 10 teams) teams like the Cougars, Huskies, Beavers and the worst of all – Ducks. (Sorry if you’re a Duck fan – Kinda.) I went from being one of many who loved the same team to being an anomaly.

One thing I learned quickly was that it was wise to not be a mocker. You see, when you have a good team it’s tempting to want to brag. And while I still do that on occasion, it gets dangerous. It can be fun to talk some smack. It was really tempting a few years ago when the Bucks were playing the Ducks in the Rose Bowl. I had a feeling the Bucks were being highly underestimated by the Ducks, especially their fans. All the Ducks fans were just talking about how fast their team was. What they didn’t realize was, we were fast too. Oh, and our offensive line is much bigger and stronger than your defensive line. They may be fast, but they’ll wear down.

Anyway, when you are no longer living in the hometown or home state of the team you like, and in fact you move into a rival conference’s state, mockery comes at a price. And that price is, if you’re team loses and you’ve been talking smack and mocking and what not, YOU ARE GOING TO HEAR IT! It’s a don’t dish it out if you can’t take it kind of thing, multiplied by the hundreds of people you know who like the opposing team.

What happened was, I had to bear the weight of the mockery all by myself. Deserved though it may have been, I was all alone in the fight. This is how it is with all mockers. When you mock, you are drawing a very clear line between you and someone else. You are setting the stage for a great divide. And when you are wrong, you will have driven off everyone who could support you. You will be like a Buckeye fan living in the Pacific Northwest, or worse Michigan.