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Those of you who know me know I’m not huge into sports. I don’t follow a single sport, team or player, and I haven’t since the 90s. I mean, I enjoy playing sports and will watch them if somebody else turns on a game. However, I’m only vaguely aware of such things as the Superbowl, NBA playoffs, the World Series, Stanley Cup, March Madness, etc. ad nauseum. I went to a Superbowl party last year because I wanted to hang out with the people there. I don’t even know who was in the last World Series. I only know who won the Stanley Cup because Chicago did. With the exception of quadrennial world sporting events (Olympics and World Cup), I never attempt to watch sports. So today’s post is an anomaly. This is my first ever post about sports.
Buffalo Bills wide out Stevie Johnson dropped a perfect, wide-open, game-winning, pass in the end zone in overtime. Watch him drop it. Johnson’s blunder isn’t all that interesting to me. Professional sports players screw up all the time. What’s interesting to me is his response to the blunder. He said this on his Twitter feed:
I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…
Not long afterward he clarify that he doesn’t blame God. It seems to me just an attempt to save spiritual face. I’m not sure how else to interpret his words, unless there is someone else besides God who he praises 24/7 (which would be kinda creepy).
What’s interesting about this situation is that he blamed God for dropping the pass. I have to say, it’s about time someone did. It seems to be well accepted that God frequently intervenes in the sporting world. Players thank God all the time when they score, make incredible plays, win key games, receive prestigious awards (see Tim Tebow’s Heisman acceptance speech). If God takes such a keen interest in the sporting world, it seems reasonable that God also causes all these blunders. God causes teams to loose, athletes to screw up critical plays, bad calls by the refs, and perhaps even causes poorly-timed injuries.
Of course another option is that Satan and his demons are causing the disruptions. God causes good things to happen; Satan screws things up. Perhaps we Americans find professional sports so enthralling because they’re really spiritual warfare incarnate. What’s more thrilling than a visceral spiritual battle? One that’s only a manifestation of a spiritual battle. Though, I’d be interested in hearing how God chooses which team God’s going to support and which team God will let Satan support. Perhaps it’s according to which fans pray the most, or which team has the most Christians on it. Or perhaps God chooses both teams, but then games would be decided by who Satan can screw up the most, and I doubt God would allow Satan that much control.
*Gasp!* But what if God didn’t cause Stevie to drop the pass? What if God doesn’t hinder or help anyone in sports? That would mean God doesn’t intervene at all in athletics. That means all the players who thank God after making an incredible play or securing a decisive victory are all acting meaninglessly. Die-hard fans offering prayers while their teams are hanging by a thread are wasting their breath.
Alright, so a lot of this has been rather tongue and cheek, but I’m sincerely interested in hearing what you think. If it make sense for players to thank God after making spectacular plays, does it make sense to blame God when they screw plays up? Did God drop the ball here?