Archive for Friday, January 9, 2009

Who does Jesus cheer for?

January 9, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated January 9, 2009, 3:52 p.m.


In those days when Notre Dame and Southern Methodist both were prominent on the college football scene, they often drew attention because of team prayers before games. This caused columnist Dan Jenkins to ask: “OK, which gang does God favor, the Catholics or Protestants?”

An unexcelled wit with a Southwest Conference background, Dan also inquired if The Big One favored the Methodists (SMU) or the Christians (TCU) in their annual battles.

So I’m wondering if Jesus nowadays suffers a perplexing series of quandaries about where to be, and when, because of all the gratitude sent his way by top performers as they discuss their victorious feats in post-game television interviews. Loaves and fishes are one thing, inflated pigskins another.

How many times this college season have the first utterances of interviewees been something like “First I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ”? Then they analyze. Crucify me, but I think it’s become a bit much, a little out of place. (I’m no infidel. I once was active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes programs, then got uneasy about what I considered some parochial excesses.)

On a day when there are a lot of games, how can even Jesus diffuse himself to favor so many guys in so many places? Is he a fan, of whom, or just a benevolent presence that doesn’t have a thing to do with how some game turns out — sincere and wishful as his athletic devotees may be about his inspiration and guidance?

Will Islamic players start citing Muhammad or Allah? Will Jewish guys hail Jehovah or Moses? Maybe it’s an expanding trend we’ll have to accept. But like those FCA overkills, it leaves me queasy.

• When Carl Peterson took over the Kansas City Chiefs football operation in 1988, he asked the inimitable broadcaster Bill Grigsby, once a Jayhawk Network throat, how to lure more customers. Grigs said he’d go out onto the Plaza and start putting pairs of ducats under windshields to get people interested. Grigs, who seldom lets the facts spoil a good story, said that for a long time he’d go back and check and somebody would have added two turn-back tickets with the original duo.

You’ve heard the same bit about Kansas and Kansas State in their leaner days. Peterson and Grigsby kicked that gag around for years. Except the ousted Peterson hasn’t been chuckling much lately.

• I’m as good at reading contracts as I am at accomplishing 20-foot pole vaults, but as I understand it, Kansas football coach Mark Mangino’s incentive package produced an extra $75,000 for KU’s Insight Bowl victory. Last season’s BCS bowl appearance and various coach of the year honors provided a Mangino bonus of about $175,000. But that was before Mark’s current contract of $2.3 million a year with incentives was instituted.

The new deal opens the door for some $675,000 in yearly bonuses for achievements and ticket sales in the through-2012 pact (for $2.3 mill per). There’s also a retention payment of $1.5 million if Mark remains KU coach through Dec. 31, 2012.

But as I read it, the bonus for the ’08 season is about $75,000. Not bad for a Pennsylvania kid who paid a lot of dues to get where he is.


jayhawkbarrister 9 years, 3 months ago

Whatcha got against Druids? Or did your editor cut the line, "As a Druid, I would like to thank that oak tree over there."

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

Doubt Jesus was much of a sports fan. Sports of his day was criminals vs lions, wasn't it? hmmm. . . . criminals vs lions, sounds like an inner-Detroit playoff. . . . Really, I noticed this with the UT QB, and thought it was a little arrogant or a litter pandering or both. (maybe not a little). Whatever.

jaywalker 9 years, 3 months ago

He cheers for me. Not a fan of the constant pointing to the heavens after a guy makes a catch or slides into second base. Eye-hand coordination and/or working limbs, not the Creator, is responsible. I suspect their intention is most likely to shine the light on themselves by motioning to the sky. Arrogant, self-serving, disingenuous.....stomach turning.

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

I honestly believe most players who praise a deity after a game aren't claiming divine intervention in their play but merely helping them in their personal lives to put them in a position to be where they are, or giving them the motivation to do their best.Having said that, I think it would be really funny if after a game an athlete blamed a deity for a bad play. I think it would go something like this; "We were doing just fine, marching the ball down the field, but then god made me fumble the ball, and that is why we lost."

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't mean to sound sacrilegious, but did anyone see that interception thrown by Bradford at the goal line last night? It ricocheted off about 5 players before it was intercepted. I think that is sufficient evidence to conclude a deity divinely intervened to cause the interception. It must have been because Tebow put “John 3:16” on the black stickers under his eyes. : )

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

Mulitdisciplinary...I can't find the interception on Youtube. My connection is running slow right now.

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

duplenty...I can't believe I am saying this to you, but that was pretty funny and clever.

shockchalk 9 years, 3 months ago

Jesus cheers for KU and whoever is playing Mizzou of course! They are thinking God for their abilities and the for the difference He's made in their lives. Obama believes that Jesus is His savior......why can't you?

shockchalk 9 years, 3 months ago

Uhhhhh, that would be "thanking" not "thinking" before someone attacks me for a spelling error.

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

demonfury...."Does anyone here really think that if their was a Jesus, he/she/it, whatever, would be envoking devine intervention for the benefit of one religious program over another?"Depends on what you think His divine plan is. If you think His divine plan encompases outcomes of athletic events then I guess you could. I guess you could also make the argument that the outcome of an athletic event could bring more attention to His truth. Personally, I think He doesn't care about the outcome because it is not apart of His divine plan to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I think if he wanted to use divine intervention to bring more attention to His truth he would do so in alternative formats.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

The Jesus I know (Jesus Hernandez) roots for Guadalajara Polytechnic.

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

If Guadalajara Polytech is good enough for Jesus then it is good enough for me!

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

Of course Guadalajara Polytech plays the righteous game of Soccer, not that Babylon nonsense that can't even make its "ball" round.

HW 9 years, 3 months ago

demonfury -If you don't give a "$h!t", why even finish reading the article, let alone comment on the article. Someone who truly doesn't give a "$h!t" would have moved on to the next article and completely forgot about this article.As far as the article goes, why did they tack on the last two items about Peterson and Mangino? They have nothing to do with the headline.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

Jesus made me slip on that 4th and 3. Seriously, you didn't see him run out there and shove me? Dude's strong, from pushing boulders away from caves or something.

Potawatomi 9 years, 3 months ago

Jesus cheered for the Wakarusa Music Festival because he was a dirty hippie.

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

jonas...It does stand to reason that if a deity wanted to use divine intervention to affect the outcome of a game s/he/it wouldn't limit him/her/itself to only helping. Announcer: "Manning goes back to pass. Oh, what a hit by Buddha! Manning didn't see that one coming."

Drew Alan 9 years, 3 months ago

I would tend to agree that people who thank god or jesus are thanking it/him for the influence made on their lives not the influence made on that specific sporting event. Or at least I hope that is what they are saying...Personally I tend to think that if there is a divine and all powerful being that messing around with some sporting events would be pretty fun for him, like at the end of that Steelers game this season where Polamalu returned a fumble for a touchdown and the refs said it didn't count and then later the ref's were like "oops... it should have counted" and god made that situation happen because he wanted to hear about something different on sports talk radio or something... and if you think this makes god sound mean then read the old testament...

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe our society should go back to polytheism. The Greek gods were really entertaining. They messed with everyone all the time. I want to blame some of my problems on them once in a while. : )

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

anxiousatheist....We are all having so much fun. Please don't start something by attacking all athletes who are theist or I will have to start defending them.

denak 9 years, 3 months ago

Jesus was not a football fan. Come on people, read the New Testement. With all the time he spent on or by water, he was obviously a water polo/swiming/yaughting type of guy. :)

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

anxiousatheist....What are you talking about? To what opinion of mine are you referring? I rarely give opinions, I use arguments; and sometimes I argue both sides because it is fun.Today most of us on this blog have just been goofing around, but for some reason you want to attack people.

jaywalker 9 years, 3 months ago

"Let's just say that athletes aren't the smartest people. They are kept out of their philosophy and science classes to play sports, no wonder they think “god” exists"Along with more than 90% of the people in this country and billions around the globe. Always amazes me that 'anxiousatheists' like yourself, Clint, are the ones that scream the loudest, jump up and down the most --- all because you DON'T believe. And you always seem to find your way to the strings discussing religion as well. Curious. Why, I do believe that if I didn't believe, entering such forums would be a waste of my time. Can you believe that? Ha-yuk!

Satirical 9 years, 3 months ago

Anxiousatheist….Looks like you want to argue. BTW: You can call me whatever you like, it won’t hurt my feelings.“Why do so many athletes have a connection to “god”?” – ClintWhy do so many non-athletes have a connection to “god”?--------------------“I mean all they really do is play a game, what do they know about “god”?” – ClintYeah, totally, I mean I am sure the only thing they ever do is play their sport, eat and sleep. Only the super-intelligent (and no athlete could possibly fall in this category) can decide whether they know God or not. --------------------“Just wondering why these question aren't interesting to you…” – Clint’The questions might have been interesting if I were 5, but I ask better questions now.

jengaman 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm with Satirical...Jesus is obviously a Tebow guy.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 3 months ago

What is with you people? I am furious because of the many insults to my faith. It is not a laughing matter to me. I cannot believe I live in a country where Christians are made fun in such a manner. I just want to go on record as being a Catholic Christian who prays fervently during sports. I believe that everyone has the right to pray at such times to whichever god they believe in. In times of stress people do things like that. Maybe someday people will respect others religion, color, creed and heritage.Insha'Allah

labmonkey 9 years, 3 months ago

"Whats' wrong with you even thanked Gawwwwad."

labmonkey 9 years, 3 months ago the John Brown vs. Cantrell debate, I figure God would be on the this side of the state line.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 3 months ago

As far as the article goes, why did they tack on the last two items about Peterson and Mangino? They have nothing to do with the headline.---that is, unless you think Mangino is God!proper reading of anxiousatheist:he is desperate to believe that people of faith are dumber than he is. desperate to prove it to himself. trying hard to resolve some deeply rooted ego conflict in some nasty negative social comparison that is as ugly and bigoted as racism. uh, sounds about right. and Clint boy, I bet I'm better edumicated than you, and I believe the Bible, pray, and trust God.
personally, I think Jesus is a baseball fan ... just read the start of the Old Testament:"In the big inning ..."I do know God has a sense of humor. and I know that the writer of this pathetic little column doesn't have a clue about the nature of the real Jesus.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

cheeseburger: To answer your question, I would not consider myself an atheist. Somewhere between an agnostic and a deist, I would say. I believe that if you'll think back, for the most part I have merely questioned and doubted the accuracy of the Christian mythology, not suggested that there is not a higher order to our existence. I don't have a clue, but I like the idea of there being one to there not being one. Either way, I'd prefer not to be surprised either way.

jonas_opines 9 years, 3 months ago

Satirical: You got to be careful when recruiting Buddha. Fat Buddha would be a pretty good addition to your line, but Thin Buddha probably needs a skill position.

Tom McCune 9 years, 3 months ago

Leviticus 11.7-477 The pig, for even though it has divided hoofs and is cloven-footed, it does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean for you.Jesus is clearly a fan of the cow-hide covered baseball and abhors the unclean pigskin. All who touch it are sinners.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 3 months ago

Satirical: You got to be careful when recruiting Buddha. Fat Buddha would be a pretty good addition to your line, but Thin Buddha probably needs a skillposition.--Jonas,you don't think he could handle QB?***Newell-post, you're forgetting Peter's dream (in Acts) so the pigskin is okay now. I just wouldn't touch that hockey puck-thingy, as it clearly is the focus of demon possession. and, basketball, all those fine tall men raising their arms in praise, "Physical Christianity" as James Naismith put it.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 3 months ago

Western Civilization has dressed Jesus in just about everything.Why not a short skirt and palm-palms...?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 3 months ago

Whoa, Multi... briefs!( Yeah, I know, arms too short to box with God. ),;-)

Commenting has been disabled for this item.