October 24, 2007

Will There Be More Bible Banging Than Batting at This Year’s World Series?

Filed under: Opinion — Volt @ 7:18 am

David Plotz, Slate, October 24, 2007

The Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox will play for the World Series starting Wednesday night. Colorado and Boston aren’t just the best teams in baseball—they’re also perhaps the two most faith-based organizations in the game. The Colorado Rockies’ emphasis on Christianity was first reported by USA Today in 2006 and has recently received more coverage. In recent years, the Red Sox have also had an abundance of evangelical Christians in their clubhouse, including Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, and Jason Varitek. In 2000, David Plotz asked why so many athletes have strong religious beliefs and tried to figure out whether God is ever responsible for on-the-field heroics.

It wasn’t so long ago that sports fields were the devil’s playground. Babe Ruth could commit five of the seven deadly sins before noon and hit three home runs by dinner. In Damn Yankees, it was Satan, not God, who offered the Washington Senators a pennant in exchange for a player’s soul. (Lesson: Offense wins games. Demons win championships.)

But today there are Angels in the Outfield, and God seems to be following pro sports more intently than any Vegas bookie. Several months before the Super Bowl, St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, a devout Christian, declared, “The Lord has something special in mind for this team.” The Rams won the Super Bowl last week because of a Warner touchdown pass. As the clock ticked to zero, the quarterback yelled, “Thank you, Jesus!” In post-game interviews, Rams receiver Isaac Bruce—who claims that uttering the word “Jesus” saved him from injury in a car crash and healed a pulled groin—described catching the winning pass: “That wasn’t me. That was all God. … I had to make an adjustment on the ball, and God did the rest.” (Thanks to God’s invisibility, the Rams were not penalized for having 12 men on the field.)

Why is God so busy on the gridiron?

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  1. Where is god for the losers?
    “It was god’s will that we got blown out today, ya know, he really favored the other team, and watched out for them”
    Somewhere out there Dylan is singing “With god on our side”

    Comment by tsakshaug — October 24, 2007 @ 11:52 am

  2. An old high school football coach used to get down on his kness and pray before each game, “Please, God and Jesus, help us find victory over our opponents today.” The team lost seven out of eight games that season, and every loss was by more than ten points.

    The next season, someone suggested maybe he should try NOT praying this year. The coach replied, “This time, I have a new prayer that’s sure to turn God in our favor.” Before the first game of the season, he got down on his knees with he team and said aloud “Dear God and Jesus, please help us kick our opponents’ asses all over the field today!” That season, the team lost every game and the coach ended up in the hospital with a mild heart attack. His wife refused to let him pray while he was in the hospital.

    It will be interesting to see if the team that loses the World Series blames the Lawd A-mighty for the loss, or perhaps the ‘Godless infidels’ on the squad.

    Comment by RS Janes — October 24, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  3. Evangelical Christianity’s interest in sports is simple: If you can’t convince them, let their hero-worship bring them in!

    Comment by idealistferret — October 25, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

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