Rooting for your favorite football team vs hoping for failure

Jerod Clark

September 16, 2009

they weren't rumors. McD wanted brady's backup.

God bless!

da bears.

Josh Reighley
September 16, 2009

I don't think that you should ever say anything about an opposing sports team that you can't find in the Psalms.

Panther Fan
September 16, 2009

I was watching the Panthers game this weekend, and wondering how exactly do I pray for them? I really wanted them to win, but how do I know that God wants them to win?

So I finally decided to ask God if He could please help them score, but I prayed nevertheless, YOUR will be done.

Panthers lost to the Eagles - 39-10.

God Bless,
Panther Fan

September 16, 2009

I appreciate my Christian brothers who follow professional sports on TV. It’s probably better than watching Star Trek re-runs (my vice). Unfortunately I was born without an organized sports gene...chromosome 11 or 12 I believe (just kidding). Although I am a carrier of the un-organized sport gene...such as downhill skiing, cross country running or mountain climbing. Does that mean I am not a card-carrying man? Sometimes I feel there is a tendency in High School youth groups and even worship services, to let football dominate the allusions and metaphors. My kids complained about that. 60% of the audience is most likely women who don’t share the fanaticism that some men have for football. I really do get tired of the trash talk as well. I don't want to be too spiritual about it, but sometimes it borders on Collosians 4:6 or Ephesians 5:4 territory.

Professional sports is the default language of evangelical sermons. Life has other dimensions and some of us are drawn to the arts (literature, poetry, painting, dance, etc), nature or science. To an outsider attending one of our services it can sometimes feel like the sermon is a prelude to a tailgate party. Da Bears.

But, like I say, I appreciate my Christian brothers who follow professional sports, I really do, and I don’t begrudge them their obsessions. I usually wind up watching the superbowl every year, even if it is mostly for the beer commercials. Wouldn’t it be nice if the adulation and wild enthusiasm we reserve for organized sports could also be expressed for Jesus? Of course, that would make us weird or pentecostal.

September 16, 2009

Being a lifelong Lions fan helps teach me the practice of lament and the call to flee from worldly things and do something else with my Sunday afternoon...

September 16, 2009

Good thought! Perhaps we could limit our commentary to spiritual thoughts like; O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. Psalm 3:7 (or for texters, OMG...)

Or; Break the arm of the wicked and evil man; call him to account for his wickedness that would not be found out. Psalm 10:15

Or for you Detroit fans;

Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; tear out, O LORD, the fangs of the lions! Psalm 58:6

September 18, 2009

...but being a comedy fan brings you right back to watching them, amirite?!

September 22, 2009

I'm a solid Detroit Red Wings fan, and this June I was rooting for them to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. I had to frequently remind myself that it wasn't about what *I* wanted - and that it was only sports, after all. So usually I ended up praying something like this: Lord, your will be done; if it's all the same to you, then I'd like the Wings to win. Sometimes I managed to correct my perspective and switch those two phrases.

The Wings didn't win. I used the opportunity to remind myself that there are good things about the Penguins too, so maybe they did deserve to win, and anyway it is just sports. (Not that the loss didn't smart!)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's annoyed, or at least alienated, by the general cultural emphasis on football. I went to the University of Michigan and went to only one football game my whole 4 years...which made me a distinct minority.

September 23, 2009

I'm not really sure that the same rules operate in the context of sports that operate in most of the rest of life. Disclaimer: I did not say that we have a license to act un-Christ-like with regard to sports. But the key point is that sports is a zero-sum game: one team wins, and the other must lose. I have teams I want to win, and others I want to lose. Rooting accordingly seems appropriate.

Further (and perhaps this DOES touch on Cutler, I concede), we don't take our rooting to a personal level. When I say "I passionately hate the Dallas Cowboys", and that "my second-favorite team is whoever's playing Dallas", I mean no personal ill will toward Tony Romo, Jason Witten, or DeMarcus Ware. I wish them all the best personally. I don't take into account the personalities of the people involved (though admittedly, it's hard to root for Cutler, TO, etc.). It's just that the Cowboys have long been rivals of teams I like.

In "real life", it's different: real life isn't a zero-sum game. I wish/pray God's will for everyone. My walking with God doesn't consign someone else to a life of misery.

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