/playoffs/1999/being-is-believing

Being is believing

More news about: Pacific Lutheran
Frosty Westering on the sidelines.
Photo by Pat Coleman, D3football.com

By Mark Simon
D3football.com

SALEM, Va. – Gee whiz. Golly gee. Holy cow.

What's most amazing about the hokey-sounding Pacific Lutheran philosophy is just how people managed to believe in it in the first place.

Holding hands in a human chain as they came back to the sideline? Patting an opponent on the helmet and telling them how impressed you were with how they tackled you? Singing songs from Phantom of the Opera with pilots on the flight out? Going on television the day before the game and saying "We don't have to win this game." What is this, a football team or a Boy Scout troop?

"When you get into love and caring," said 72-year-old Pacific Lutheran coach Frosty Westering, "and you touch everyone, they know it's for real. They found consistency in me because I walk my talk. I've heard it said that some of what we do is kids' stuff. Well, maybe what the world needs is more kids."

PLU wide receiver Todd McDevitt spent two years at Western Washington and hated it. When Westering played football, first at Northwestern and then at Nebraska-Omaha, he found the same thing to be true. Instead of saying he couldn't change things, he went about doing so.

"All that mattered (at Western Washington) was winning football games," said McDevitt, the recipient of two touchdown passes from quarterback Chad Johnson, "and it rubbed me the wrong way. I was in the stands for a playoff game against Pacific Lutheran and I saw them kneeling and praying for an injured teammate with their gold helmets off. (I decided to transfer) and it has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. It is different from any other athletic program."

Seeing is believing as far as sincerity is concerned. Watching how serious they were, even as newspaper reporters shook their heads, raised their eyebrows and giggled, was astounding. The players at the podium at the postgame press conference laughed among themselves when they heard Frosty Westering tell a story for the umpteenth time, but were all business when asked what their newfound belief systems have meant to them.

"I was wide-eyed the first few weeks here," said defensive lineman Luke Jacobson, "but you get used to it after a couple of weeks. It changes you. You see the other side when you visit your family and friends. When you play other teams, the way some play compared to us, you can't believe that you ever played that way."

Johnson knows as well as anyone just how much Grandpa Frosty believes. He was raised in the environment of love and understanding, but grew skeptical during his freshman season. When he became a born-again Christian during the offseason, he got the true understanding of Westering's double-win philosophy.

"Grandpa bleeds this stuff," said Johnson. This is what he is all about."

It's amazing how simple life and football can be sometimes. I've used this saying in other stories before, but I feel that it's particularly appropriate here. PLU football – loving it and living it – comes down to the most basic of principles.

Don't worry. Be happy.

"I wouldn't coach," said Westering, "if it were any other way."

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Box Score Photos Video
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
St. Thomas at Berry
@ Location TBD
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Box Score Photos Video
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Alfred
@ University of Delaware
Video Preview Live stats Audio