God and the Super Bowl

My local paper’s “Voices of Faith” column, on Super Bowl weekend, was authored by Richard John Mouw, “professor of faith and public life” at a California seminary. He discussed a past Sports Illustrated cover story: “Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?” His essay appears to be on the level, not satirical. (At least not intentionally.)

Mouw noted several theologian colleagues doubting God has anything to do with deciding football games. But that Reggie White, a Green Bay Packers player and Pentecostal preacher, disagreed. White questioned what basis scholars have for thinking God doesn’t take sides. Didn’t he intervene in David’s fight with Goliath?* And what about “Jesus’ victory over death?” White reportedly avowed that God “doesn’t think much of losers.”

Mouw takes a middle position: “God cares much about how the game is played . . . the physical prowess that is on display in a well-played game.” He also says God similarly enjoys a well-written poem, or Bach concerto. And when “a player makes a spectacular catch, I imagine the Lord saying to himself, ‘Nicely done! This is one of the reasons why I created the human race!'”** However, Mouw doesn’t think God is a fan of any particular team.

He is all wrong. In this year’s Super Bowl, God was rooting for the Eagles, for the obvious reason that Brady and the Patriots are cheaters. (But he denies helping the Eagles.) Also, God does not like poetry, nor Bach’s music. He prefers instead a good short story; in music his tastes run to heavy metal.

He also enjoys a good laugh. And he certainly got one from Mouw’s essay, and people who imagine not only knowing an invisible deity exists, but more, his mind. They can’t quite manage to square their concept of God with all the evil, suffering, and injustice in the world. That’s chalked up as mystery. But they do know God’s tastes in literature and music, and the specific ways in which he enjoys football games.

In fact, he prefers soccer. Those heretics believing differently will burn in Hell forever.

* Actually, no. Nothing in the Bible fable suggests David didn’t win through his own skill.

** Is it also one of the reasons why he afflicts players with concussions?

One Response to “God and the Super Bowl”

  1. Lee Says:

    I always imagined that prayers by a player were more of a sort of a deal making thing as in “God, if you help me I’ll be more devout” or “God, you know I’ve been devout, so would you help me here in return?” (I could be way off here, having never discussed this with any player who prays to God. If so, my apologies!) So, it isn’t that God is a Patriots or Eagles fan directly, though maybe indirectly God ends up helping more the team with more believers.

    The Christian God (and maybe others?) is big into forgiveness. The Patriots as cheaters thus may not be at a disadvantage. On the other hand, some may argue that you have to ask for forgiveness to receive it, in which case that could adversely impact the Patriots. Does Brady go to confession?

    Another possibility is simply that the Eagles are the better team!!! That seems most plausible to me. Go Eagles! Go Eagles! Go Eagles!

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