Paths crossed: the god problem and sports fandom

I wish there were an expression other than “the cross I must bear,” but…

To be a sports fan — certainly a football fan — one must cope with god. Because god gets invoked a lot. See below:

“It’s a business, so nothing really can surprise you,’’ he said. “It’s just more of a blessing in disguise and I feel as though God doesn’t make mistakes. It was more of an exciting, exhilarating feeling. Just a new road to go down, and I’m excited to go down it.” — Jabrill Peppers, quoted in Paul Schwartz’s NY Post column.

I want to say to Jabrill, now one of my guys, god does make mistakes. Because there isn’t any such creature. Nature may not make mistakes but I think she does.

But this isn’t as bad as the days when the Mara family, sole owners in those days of the New York Giants, would gather their like-minded players (Mark Bavaro, for one) onto a bus and take them to protests at free choice clinics. During those days, I think there was only one player on the team who was a Democrat.

And we seem to be past the days when, after a game, players from both teams would kneel together on the field and pray. I can’t remember why this outburst of spiritual camaraderie, but I do remember them doing it. There must have been a reason. Maybe terrorism?

Not only do I not believe in god, I find I’ve lost my belief in the football gods. I watch the games, I thrill, I suffer, I do not believe I can speak to some superior force who will permit a touchdown catch when we need one.

I consider this an advance into maturity.


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