Time for Waxing Off, the feature generally credited for saving the passengers of US Airways flight 1549. Today's topic: Athletes who credit God for victories and success.
I have an extra special take on this topic. I am the daughter of a Methodist minister. Her father? A Presbyterian minister (and yes, I said “her.” My mom’s a minister. Isn’t that “neat.”). I spent 18 years of my life going to Sunday School and church every week. Preacher’s kids generally either follow their parent’s footsteps or take a big dump on them. I landed somewhere in the middle … I lead a pretty noble life minus the binge drinking, cursing, and questionable decision-making in my love life.
I have heard both my mom and grandfather talk on numerous occasions about how “wonderful” it is when athletes gesture towards Jesus or talk about Jesus or get wicked tats depicting Jesus. I roll my eyes. When I see or hear it, it looks like part of the show. It’s going through the motions. Did they point toward the sky as they left the strip club and say “Thank you God for putting Fancy in my lap!” Probably not. But if you score a touchdown and somehow insinuate it was only because of your hard work and practice that makes you some kind of a villain.
Don’t get me wrong though. I believe in God. I believe in living a good life. But I also believe that ultimately all of us are subject to a greater balance; for every good thing that happens in someone’s life, they pay the price in another way. Examples:
Good: Superman-esque quarterback
Bad: Thinks jorts are cool
Good: Super Bowl bound
Bad: Weird looking wife
Good: Could play both ways
Bad: Terrible reality sitcom on Oxygen
Good: Record-setting coach
Bad: Had to look at Peyton Manning’s smashed-in face every day
Good: Best. College. Quarterback. Ever.
Bad: Nothing … okay, may be a tad crazy
So that’s my philosophy on religion. To answer the other part of the question, do I think God is a sports fan, I think he probably is. I think he keeps f-ing up the BCS system every year so we’ll wise up and get rid of it. I think he keeps the Cubs from winning the World Series because it’s already too cold in October in Chicago for him to brave the trip. I think he keeps Boston sports teams near the top of the charts because he fears the brutality of Southies. And I think he keeps Charlie Weis fat because it makes him funny for all of us to look at.
— The Steezer is a Texas Longhorn fan living in Washington D.C. who hopes Sam Bradford’s crabs start healing soon.
Dear God, it's me, Jess.
First off, I'm sorry I spent four years at a Catholic college drinking whiskey and eating calzones rather than going to church, class, or, you know, HELPING people. I'm sorry that at Friars basketball games my friends and I would chant "Je-sus! Je-sus!" during a Providence run. I'm sorry that we made fun of the Friar mascot for looking vaguely, and irrelevantly, like a frightened Asian boy. Additionally, I'm sorry the college decided that positioning a twenty-foot-tall inflatable Friar behind the basket at home games was a good idea. I think they can redeem themselves if they turn it into a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Friar when opponents are at the line.
I'm sorry Tim Tebow won't stop calling you, that must be really annoying when you're trying to play Rock Band or smite people. I'm sorry that after having virtuosos like Da Vinci and Michelangelo render your likeness in resplendent masterpieces, Kurt Warner decided to break out his 96 pack of Crayolas with the built-in sharpener and draw you as Buddy Christ. Speaking of which, I'm sorry that Kevin Smith cast as a lady that dated Uncle Joey as you in "Dogma."
I know you don't really care who wins in a given game, as long as everybody ends up ok. Well, except for Tom Brady apparently. You were probably just cutting the Patriots down to size after the hubris-filled 07-08 season since pride IS one of the seven deadly sins. Morgan Freeman told me so. But still, I'm sorry you thought it was a good idea to let a 9-7 team get to the Super Bowl. You're not going to hear the end of it from Cardinals fans praying for a win, or more realistically, praying not to get killed, but you brought that on yourself.
But what I'm really sorry about, God, is that Visanthe Shiancoe didn't think to put a Bible verse on his dong before he decided to reveal it to the world. Think of the publicity!!
— Jess Mac is currently in Boston, waiting for a large, gruesome lightning bolt to smite her for this.
By all accounts, Kurt Warner is a good guy. A great one, even, which seems to jive with the fact that his career has been doublestuffed with the kind of improbable Good Fortune rarely seen outside of Kevin Costner flicks. He's been swaddled in three different jerseys during his G-rated success story but the one constant has been his supersized devotion to Tha' Lord. During the season, he's quick to credit Mister Jesus with every touchdown, the numbers in the win column, and for guiding his wife toward a hairstyle that wasn't borrowed from Ivan Drago. In the offseason, he hands a chunk of his paycheck to the church, builds playground equipment out of his own bones, and carves prosthetic limbs for armless orphans so they can clap their hands when they sing hymns.
A few years ago, I stalked K-Dub to Ricky Proehl's charity golf tournament. It was the summer after the Rams Super Bowl victory had been etched on the Lombardi trophy and everyone in the free world was familiar with Kurt's improbable trip from "Paper or Plastic?" to the Pro Bowl. I stopped him in front of the clubhouse, we chatted for a few minutes and he signed my jersey, neatly writing "Matthew 6:33" beneath his signature, a verse that means "You'll feel guilty wearing this when you're calling the 49ers fan behind you a cockdragon."
But all of that — the scripture quoting, God daps, and inability to get dressed without the help of a pair of animated bluebirds — is part of his personality. His postgame interviews may border on tent revivals but it's genuine, not just spiritual showboating, and that makes it a bit more tolerable. A TINY bit.
Next Sunday, he won't be the only one jabbing a finger toward the heavens after a successful slant route. It's a fact that as the games get bigger, so do the onfield gestures. Nobody raises their hands to the sky in August 'cause not even God gives a shit about the preseason; that's when He vacations with Mary J. Blige. Regardless of who gets a confetti shower and an embroidered shirt after the Super Bowl, Kurt is still going to be thanking the Lord for lead blocking. And for liking him more than Jon Kitna.
— J-Money writes much longer at The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy and much shorter at twitter.com/gordonshumway.
Jesus, or the notorious G.O.D., could probably care less about Kurt Warner. Kurt, you're not in the Super Bowl because of Jesus — you're there because the West sucks and they needed a team to represent your division. If a group of retarded helmet kids had a better record than the Cardinals, they'd be there. But you do have Matt Leinert there — so you're not that far off. Jesus had as much to with your success as he did when Mystikal wrote 'Shake Ya Ass'. Actually, that's not true. We all know J.C. was a big ass man.
Growing up Catholic, I've had my suspicions on whether or not there was a God. I mean, if there was a God, Tom Brady would have played the entire season (and be going to the Super Bowl) instead of gallivanting around with Giselle and a bum knee and talking to Canadian radio shows about his homemade aspercream. If there was a God I wouldn't have gone to my prom stag and woke up naked & hung over from a night of binge drinking Parrot Bay in some seedy motel room next to someone else's date. And most importantly, do you honestly think Jesus would let a team with a 9-7 record participate in the Super Bowl? If you want me to be convinced there is a higher power, let Leinert play next Sunday; then I'll believe there's a God and know he has a sense of humor too.
— Since Cameron Frye's firing for talking about cocks and roman war helmets on Deadspin, she's since become born again and can be found preaching the gospel of David Krejci on cameronfrye.com
Church and State, God and Country, Piety and Pigskin? Why not? The Lord’s Prayer was read on the White House steps during the inauguration of our new President. Statesman invoked blessings from the heavens for our country and president. And if anyone can use a few blessings, it’s Barack Obama.
Think of it this way, wasn’t our little country founded by a bunch of scared, hungry immigrants who fled their own lands because of religious oppression? Doesn’t every one of our nation’s most sacred documents and most famous speeches contain some sort of spiritual recognition of bequest? So why wouldn’t we see it in the greatest American past time; sports. We’re religious peoples. Okay, a MANY religion religious peoples. I don’t necessarily mind seeing a player spike a touch down and drop to his knees and throw his hands to the heavens as long as it only lasts a brief moment.
But seriously, wouldn’t it be freakin’ amazing if there was a little equality? We have equality in everything else, why not religion too? How about someone doing a post-game presser and thanking Satan for an amazing tackle that splays a player out unconscious? Wouldn’t that be awesome? “Thank you oh Dark Lord for laying waste of my opponent.”
Or how about thanking Mercury for the speed to run a race past 3,000 non-believing runners. “I’d like to thank Thor for the power of the Gods that I might press that 800 lbs and not crush my spinal column.” What happened to those religions? They were fun. No, we’re down to just a few popular deities.
Put your hand in your pocket and pull out a dollar. Does it not say “In God We Trust?” Maybe it should say “In God We Believe”? We’re told to be thankful for the little things that come our way each day. Sometimes those little things are the things we have worked our lives to achieve: a home run, a touch down, a game winning goal. When we have faith in something other than ourselves, we remember to thank something higher.
It’s not a bad thing.
— Dee Karl 7th Woman NYI Blog Box Crew http://7thwoman.blogspot.com/