1 Feb
Does God Care About Football?

Does God Care About Football?

Why me, God?

I imagine Billy Cundiff might have had a thought like that after missing his 32-yard field goal attempt which would have forced overtime against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Instead, no thanks to him and his generally trusty right leg, his Ravens will be sitting at home watching the Super Bowl.

Cundiff made 95.8% of kicks from 32 yards and nearer in the regular season and is just one season removed from being named to the Pro Bowl. What was different about this kick? Was it nervousness? Did his delay in taking the field rush him? Did he choke? Or was it just a fluke? And if it was just a fluke, then is it fair to say, “Why God?”

That’s what Stevie Johnson tweeted after the Bills receiver dropped a wide-open pass in the end zone last year. Actually, he said this:

Stevie Johnson 13 Twitter AccountCouldn’t have said it any better myself.

Perhaps our friend Stevie isn’t the best case study for this topic. But isn’t it fair to say that God has the ability to prevent us from suffering from such moments, to prevent a “fluke” from deciding something so very important? Maybe it’s enough to make one believe that God is indeed up to something?

There are some people who would say it’s silly to think that God cares about such things. It seems as if every media personality who has commented on Tim Tebow’s remarkable success this year feels the need to give such a disclaimer. To hear Bob Costas wonder, “why the Almighty wouldn’t have better things to do,” or, Joe Soucheray remark, “l will be disappointed once I get to heaven to discover that God has a 42-inch flat screen on which he has been monitoring the National Football League,” it seems it’s blasphemy to think God condescends to our little game of tackle football.

Does it strike anyone else that this seems to be a slightly naïve understanding of the Lord of the Universe? Surely Costas knows what the term “Almighty” implies; that unlike the Wizard of Oz, an almighty being outside of time does not need to choose which tasks with which to fill his busy day…He can actually just do anything he wants, even all at the same time!

Does God care about football games? You bet he does. Why? Because he cares about everything, that’s why. Like a diligent landlord keeping an eye on his property, or better yet, a loving parent genuinely interested in his children’s lives, God cares about everything that happens in the universe, big and small, even little old NFL games.

As if NFL games bear no meaning or consequence socially, economically and culturally. What would New Orleans be without that Super Bowl win which seemed to breathe life into the entire city after Hurricane Katrina? And what about other sports? Did the “Miracle on Ice” mean anything? How about South Africa’s win in the World Cup of Rugby? Maybe we don’t always care to admit it, but sports do matter. And we have ourselves to thank and/or blame for that.

Insofar as sports matter to people, God cares. Sure, if God either doesn’t exist or he’s not involved in earthly affairs at all, then this is all a moot point. But if he does, then does it not make sense that he cares what happens in the world of sports?

Is it possible that God helped South Africa to victory to help unite a country struggling to overcome racial prejudice? Or America over the Soviets to help bring down communism? Why not? And is it possible that God has brought unlikely success to Tim Tebow to bring media attention to the man perhaps best equipped to be his witness to a godless nation? Hmm… Does that make God less godly, Bob Costas? Or does that mean he just understands how to get our attention.

– Isaac Huss

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