Football is God
Friday Church News Notes, October 14, 2011
A report in the Los Angeles Times on the drought in Texas observes that “football is God” (“In West Texas,” Los Angeles Times, Oct 3, 2011). The report is on the drying up of the football field at Robert Lee High School in west Texas. “So people here are doing everything they can think of to save it. After all, this isn’t just about a game. Here in West Texas, football is God, and the field is church.” That is a sad but true statement, and it is just as true for professing Christians as for out-and-out pagans.
Sports is one of America’s gods. Dr. Alan Goldberg of the University of Connecticut said: “Sports [is] like a religion, and the god of that religion that we all worship is the god of winning” (CNSNews.com, August 31, 2001).
An extensive survey commissioned in 1983 found that seven in every 10 Americans watch, read, or talk about sports every day. The study, the most comprehensive ever undertaken of America’s attachment to sports, found that almost 35 million people are “ardent sports fans” who watch sports events on television at least once a week, and in some cases, every day. I am confident the statistic would be higher today.
In 1982, the famous sports announcer Howard Cosell, while viewing the largest Sunday football game attendance in Texas history, said “the Cowboys are more than a football team in Dallas; they are a religion.” Professional football and basketball have become a religion all across America. In other lands the religion is called soccer. A person’s god is that which he loves and serves, and God hates idolatry. The prophets and apostles preached against idolatry, and so should we. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols (“1 John 5:21).