The god problem in football

538 Significant Digits has lately been concentrating on the Super Bowl. Understandable. After all, its founder, Nate Silver, began his career analyzing sports statistics before he branched out into the far more tranquil field of elections.

So 538 has been throwing out predictive Super Bowl numbers the past couple of weeks. Here’s one today:

25 percent

Percentage of Americans who believe that God plays a role in the outcome of sporting events. Moreover, about half of all Americans think that the Almighty rewards athletes who believe and have faith. I hear this, but only because a Pats win this Sunday would all but guarantee the existence and work of Satan on earth for me, you know? [PRRI]

I have two comments to make. First: the only one of my multitudinous close relatives who voted for Trump is a Patriots fan. (And to think I expressed my sympathy to her in 2008 and 2012. That taught me. Have no sympathy for Pats fans. Ever. Because they will go bad and will wreck the country.)

Second: I’m thrilled to see only 25 percent of Americans believe god has something to do with sporting events.

Third (yeah, I know, I said only two comments but here I am with a third): god does not have anything to do with football outcomes. Who does? The football god.

It’s about pantheism, not monotheism.


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