What a vivid and disturbing memory I retain from my teen years as an Ohio State Buckeye fan. The Basketball team in 1972, carried an unblemished record into Minnesota for a huge conference showdown with the Gophers. The crowd was hostile but the Buckeyes were leading by 6 with 36 seconds left. That is when the event Sports Illustrated describes as the ugliest brawl in the history of sports took place. Star center Luke Witte went up for a layup and was flagrant fouled by two opponents. One landed an overhand left to his ear. The blow knocked him to the ground. His head hit the floor and left him concussed. An extended hand to help Witte to his feet turned into a vicious knee to his groin. In the melee which ensued, a player left the Gopher bench and stomped on Witte’s face and neck. One of those kicks would cause his right cornea to be damaged and result in a permanent partial vision loss.
Witte would go on to be drafted by the Cavaliers and actually played for the team who were responsible for the 1976 “Miracle of Richfield”. Today Luke is part of another miracle. He has responded to a call of God and shares witness of the power of forgiveness in spite of past regrets and resentments.
This Sunday, Luke will be our special guest at #Lot4praise! We will also pray for our families, schools, churches, city, and nation. Billy Krills will lead us in song and I don’t want you to miss the special message of Luke Witte. See you in worship this Sunday.