Notre Dame believes . . . after all, they have their Touchdown Jesus. Tim Tebow believes . . . story is that at the end of his miraculous season with the Denver Broncos he prayed to God to give them help . . . and, God gave them Peyton Manning. Probably more Auburn University fans than not, believe . . . two last second miracle games in a row got them into the national championship . . . only by the “grace of God” and bunch of chicken Bowl Championship Series selectors picking them over Michigan State. Apparently a lot of people believe that God “plays a role in determining which team wins” sports events . . . 27 percent of Americans according to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute last January.
Personally, I don’t think God gives a hoot one way or another about who wins any sporting event. I think that God is way too busy with a whole lot of more important stuff than whether or not some player can kick the winning field goal, knock a homerun out of the park, or win a national championship. Looking at the shape of world today after we humans have been having our say in it for so long, I imagine that God is pretty busy with other things than sports. Besides, as an avid University of Nebraska Cornhusker football fan, I have prayed for years since Tom Osborne retired for another national championship . . . and, those prayers have gone unanswered. Shoot, I would take a Big Ten championship . . . but, no! I forget, God is a Notre Dame fan . . . remember, Touchdown Jesus. It is probably better to admit that God is too busy than to acknowledge that God just might not care a whole heck about the Cornhuskers since Coach Osborne retired.
For those believers wearing the Auburn University colors . . . it wasn’t God that determined their fate this season, it was luck. It was luck and poor defense that allowed the “Hail Mary” pass to be caught through the Georgia secondary to win the game. It was luck and the fact that the Alabama defense didn’t keep playing that allowed the missed field goal to be returned 106 yards for the winning score against the Crimson Tide. God had no hand in any of that . . . it was pure, dumb luck. Besides, God is a God of justice and would never, ever allow a SEC team in the national championship for the umpteenth time in a row . . . if God really cared. Shoot, Notre Dame would be playing in the championship and would be undefeated every year. Come on . . . God had nothing to do with Auburn’s luck no matter how much better they were than a year ago.
God just does not care . . . but, there are people out there who think that God does care. At one of the regional cross country meets held in Kentucky before their state championships, a runner from Whitley County was set to compete until she was assigned the bib number 666—“the number of the beast” according to the Bible. She refused to wear the number. Both she and her coach appealed to the race officials for a new number, but they refused . . . so she decided not to race. Her reason? “I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God,” she said. Personally, I don’t think God would have gotten her mixed up with the beast as she was running . . . it was a cross country race for sport, not world domination. God doesn’t care.
Besides, evil does not dwell in the lowly sports of running . . . everyone knows that it is New York where evil resides. A panel of trademark judges affirmed and confirmed it last February when they ruled against a company called Evil Enterprises. Since 2008 Evil Enterprises has been attempting to market a line of baseball-related product trademarked as “Baseballs Evil Empire”. But Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees challenged them over the title. In February, the judges ruled, “There is only one Evil Empire in baseball, and it is the New York Yankees.” Those damn Yankees! But God doesn’t care . . . shoot where were the Yankees this past season? Look at what is happening to their team . . . drug scandals, retiring superstars, and the second largest luxury tax paid since the tax was instituted 11 years ago (which they have contributed $252.7 of the $285.1 million dollars or 88.6 percent of the total tax since its inception) . . . evil pure evil . . . but God doesn’t care about baseball . . . at least not since the Miracle Mets of 1969.
Speaking of those Miracle Mets . . . and, this is how I know that God does not care about sports . . . I was and am a loyal Baltimore Orioles fan . . . those were the guys that blew the World Series against the Mets. I know that I prayed just as hard as any Mets fan . . . hey, we had one of the best teams ever assembled that year . . . for the Birds to win the series. We didn’t win . . . we just got beat by good baseball and luck. Had to be . . . God was busy doing other things that were more important . . . at least that is what I keep telling myself. It beats thinking God ignored my prayers!
I do not think that God cares about sports. I feel for those 27 percent of Americans who believe that God plays an active role in deciding sporting events. I feel for them because anything can happen whenever two teams square off against each other . . . ask the Crimson Tide of Alabama or the Bulldogs of Georgia . . . the ball can bounce any way it bounces. No, in the grand scheme of things . . . in God’s ultimate design . . . sports are probably not the number one priority for God’s time and attention. Having said that, I do think that God appreciates a little acknowledgement from time to time—even in the world of sports:
But, come on, who really seriously thinks that God is an avid sports fan dictating the outcomes of sporting events? If God were a sports fan, God would be a Cornhusker fan . . . after all, Nebraska is God’s Country . . . no one else would have it! That I believe.