Adrian Peterson’s prayer group

Josh Larsen

Josh Larsen
September 15, 2014

What if those of us who drafted Adrian Peterson committed to pray over the situation as it continues to unfold?

Dave Larsen
September 16, 2014

I'm glad you used the word "commodity" in your piece because that's what I think we get lulled into with fantasy football or big-time sports in general. We tend to no longer see image bearers as people but a means to an end. So I think your call to view people, whether in scrapes or accused, as image-bearers for whom we can pray is a helpful reminder and encouragement. And while prayer is a mysterious thing as you say, at the very least it brings us back to a rootedness in seeing people correctly. Don't over glamorize them, don't over villify or indulge them, just view them--and those who have been victimized by them--as neighbors to love in whatever way you can. Prayer is certainly one way.

There's another piece to all of this that your article prompts in me, and that has to do with how professional sports in general create commodities out of individuals. It's all about value to the team financially, how they are paid, how productive or unproductive they are, and soon we can chew them up and spit them out. That's really what the compensation discussion for college athletes is all about. See me as a person, and if you can't, then pay me for how I'm being used and abused. Or, owners and coaches are often blinded to the wrongs players have committed because they can't stand the thought of losing productivity.

So the question for me increasingly is how am I contributing to this by viewing pro sports, by buying tickets, by being a true fan, all that goes along with these monstrosities that are totally out of hand. Billion dollar stadiums, multimillion dollar contracts.

And yet, and then, I hunker down and watch the Bears game until the end . . .

James Marler
September 16, 2014

I'm not a sports fan for the most part. My favorite sports are racquetball, billiards, and fencing. So, there aren't a whole lot of parties going on at my house during championships. I say all of this to preface my comments so that there is a greater context to what I'm saying. I'm not defending FF. I've only ever played once. I was a disaster, of course, because I have no information.

I think it's unfair to ask "By regarding “our” players as potential points in imaginary leagues – as literal ones and zeroes - are we denying them and those around them their status as real human beings, created in God’s image?"

They are, in fact, both. In the context of your FF team/league they are ONLY ones and zeroes. In the real world, they are beings made in the image of God. I think we interact with them according to the context.

It's kind of like Spotify. I sometimes choose certain songs or artists to go into a playlist. There are many reasons for that. Mostly, it's because I like the song. If I don't, the song doesn't' make the cut. Sometimes, I put on Spotify radio and just listen to whatever. But I do try to pray for artists that I hear, and sometimes hearing them on Spotify (or Pandora, iTunes Radio, etc. which I still sometimes use) might be the ONLY thing that brings them to mind.

My point is, instead of viewing it as an either/or proposition, why not take the FF work as an opportunity to pray for each and every one of your players. That can be like a guided play/pray list for you.

Just sayin'.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
September 16, 2014

Interesting comparison, James. To an extent, the compartmentalization you talk about - whether it involves professional athletes or recording artists - is part of what troubles me. Should we think of people as product, in any context? You're right, of course, that it doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. Maybe this Peterson story is the way I've come to realize that.

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