Why do so many athletes feel the holier than thou need to praise God whenever they win?
Over the past two college football seasons, I’ve watched Florida quarterback Tim Tebow praise God after every win and after every individual accolade he was awarded. His Heisman Trophy acceptance speech could have passed for a religious awakening akin to Paul Dano’s wild faith healing in There Will Be Blood.
I think he literally may have mentioned God or Jesus Christ every other word. No Joke.
Tebow is not the lone faith-crazed footballer. ‘I’d just like to thank God’ is almost as common a response after a big win as ‘Hi Mom’ or ‘I’m going to Disney world.’
Some of my favorite players, including Pedro Martinez of the New York Mets and Manny Ramirez of the, well of the No-Wheres, are always pointing to the sky after a strike out or a home run.
Now, I’m not an atheist and I’m not trying to spew blasphemy all over the SPBLargus. I believe in a higher being, I was christened, confirmed, and spent 15 years attending chapel three days a week in grade school. And I support organizations like Athletes in Action, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Champions for Christ. But somewhere between Genesis 1:1 and Austin 3:16, our athletes have gone astray in believing that God helps them win or cares about teams winning. There never was a Tyson 12:24 or a Brady 8:13.
It undercuts perceived meaning behind scripture and religious figures when they are mentioned in post-game news conferences. There weren’t sides picked in the Old or New Testaments with regard to sport. You believed or you didn’t and that’s all that mattered. Now, thanks to moronic sports stars, Jesus and God are on a rotating kiosk of fanship depending on who won. Sports Center could be decried as indirectly blasphemous for airing these News Conferences. On Sunday, Jesus was a diehard Cowboys fan thanks to that blessed touchdown pass that Tony Romo threw but Monday he wore a Yankees foam thumb and pinstripes when the Bronx Bombers took down the Rays.
Who does he really support? It’s ridiculous and it gets brushed over because ‘oh these guys are such great role models and they care about religion and make sure little Johnny is watching this’ blah blah blah. They’re aren’t good role models in this respect.
God doesn’t support one club over another. Angels In The Outfield, a great 90s sports movie, tried to prove that God loves the Angels but unfortunately there is no team called the California Angels and who really buys Christopher Lloyd as The Angel Gabriel?
The Bottom line is best expressed by one of the greatest athletes of all time. In a January 2009 interview with Esquire Magazine, former Syracuse lacrosse player and Cleveland Brown running back Jim Brown stated what should be the obvious:
“God ain’t got nothing to do with winning a damn football game.”
Thanks Jim. Personally, I’ve got one question for all of these ‘praiseworthy’ athletes.
Does God not exist when you lose?