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God and the NFL

February 14, 2010

Tim Tebow: God Warrior


Little did I know when I first started watching American Football, that following this great sport would bring me uncomfortably close to God.

It seems to me that God runs the NFL. Both players and coaches turn Post-game press conferences and interviews into sermons where every win, every loss, every injury recovery, every touchdown pass, every tipped pass is credited to the Lord almighty.  

Upon winning the NFC championship game, Star Quarterback Kurt Warner first words were to “give thanks to his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ”.

The trend seems to be on the rise. Star college quarterback Tim Tebow – eligible for the NFL draft this year and already one of the most popular football players in the country – wears Bible verses on his black eye paint during games and never misses a chance to flaunt his Christianity.

Another thing that the NFL has been doing more of under the watch of commissioner Roger Goodell, is disciplining players on matters of “Character”. Wes Welker, the NE Patriots Wide Receiver was fined $10,000 after he celebrated a touchdown with a snow angel. Is that the good old no-fun Catholicism rearing its grumpy head? Amongst analysts, you also hear players being evaluated by their skills and playing ability, naturally, but also by their reputations as family men and god-fearing men.

America’s game is by all means rooted in rightwing tradition, and perhaps accurately reflects the mood of small-town-good-Americans that Palin and her Tea Party keep banging on about. Also, with its violence and tactical intensity, American football is a ripe metaphor for war. Making it more relevant to America’s multiple fronts both outside and inside its borders.

Players and coaches regularly make trips to Iraq to meet troops and always mention them as a great inspiration. In 2001, Washington Redskins Linebacker Pat Tillman forfeited his multi million-dollar deal and joined the group in Iraq. Tillman was reportedly not your average football player. He was well-read and strictly unreligious. “You know I’m not religious” he said bluntly on several occasions. He also said that the war on Iraq is illegal. These reports were quietly brushed aside and now he is regarded as a poster child for right wing, Christian chauvinists. 

During the Super Bowl – the Holy Grail of both Football and TV commercials – the fight between conservative and liberal America was not metaphorical at all. The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family ran a “pro life” commercial that tells the story of Pam Tebow, who was pregnant with her fifth child when she was in the Philippines on a missionary trip. There, Pam contracted amoebic dysentery. Doctors advised her to abort the fetus. Pam ignored their advice and gave birth to a baby boy. That boy was Tim Tebow. Praise the lord.

On the other side of the ring, or should we say field, was with a commercial that shows 2 men watching the super bowl and ending up kissing each other. You could say that team Tebow won that battle. The commercial was banned.

American Football is by all means a great sport. Its strategic and mental intensity is unmatched in any other sport, and the athleticism of its players is the stuff of legends. However, it should remain a sport and stop trying to make better Christians out of all of us.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. agl444 permalink
    February 14, 2010 5:09 pm

    This is a great blog and I look forward to reading more!

  2. Carolyn permalink
    February 14, 2010 5:12 pm

    And then again, we must admit that each person has a right to express his or her religious practice when it does not infringe on the religious practice of others. Tebow and other Christian athletes do not infringe on the religious practices of others. The only ones who complain about Tebow and the like are Atheists who insist they are non-religious. That being the case, why should they care what Tebow says or does? It’s nothing to them.


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