The Kiddy Pool: All in the Olympic Family

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Like so many others around the world, I’m watching the Winter Olympic Games and getting my quadrennial fix of sports like the skeleton. I’m still trying to comprehend the allure of sliding headfirst, at speeds approaching 70-80 miles an hour on what one commentator described as essentially a cookie sheet. Yet while I’m not a daredevil by any definition, I found myself … [Read more...]

Olympic Metaphors and Marriage

 By Hannah AndersonLast week, Desiring God posted a piece by John Ensor that likened the complementarian model of marriage to the choreographed movements of a pair of figure skaters. Ensor writes:  Sochi is helping me be a better husband. And the Olympics are freshly making my wife to delight in her role as well. The surprising lesson is on display in figure skating pairs. At its best, this event displays the strength and beauty of unity: how two different people become one. The gold goes t … [Read more...]

Tim Tebow Can Do All Things Through Christ, So He Should Quit

When he made Sports Illustrated’s cover, Tim Tebow’s face showed a player determined to win, and his eye black featured what is probably the most used Bible verse in all of American sports, Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” If human achievement can’t exemplify the claim made in Scripture, then Tim Tebow’s football efforts come close. While in college, it seemed his "Superman" nickname was highlighted by the assumption in that verse -- he could do all things. … [Read more...]

During the Olympics, Russian Christians Work for Reform and Revival

The Sochi Games were mired in controversy before they even began.It wasn’t supposed to be that way. The first Russian Games since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sochi was supposed to show the world just how far Russia has come in the last 23 years. It was supposed to change the perception of Russia held by those whose international sympathies were forged during the Cold War. Yet, as reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s exorbitant spending came to light (at $51 billion, the Sochi G … [Read more...]

Do You Struggle with Sports Idolatry? Cultivate Sports Atheism

by Nathaniel ClaiborneOne of the first football games I remember watching was the Super Bowl. It was 1992, and the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills in the last Super Bowl to be played in the Metrodome. With a minor exception here and there, I’ve watched every Super Bowl in the 22 years since. Considering Peyton Manning is my favorite quarterback in the NFL, you’d probably expect me to be ecstatic that he is playing in this year’s installment. While I do hope the Broncos beat the Sea … [Read more...]

Boycotting For Sport: Why The Olympics Must Go On

Throughout the history of the modern Olympic Games, both democracies and dictatorships have hosted the Games. National leaders spanning the ideological spectrum -- everyone from Adolph Hitler to Ronald Reagan -- have hosted the Games, and that isn’t about to change anytime soon. Case in point: Russia’s Vladimir Putin.It doesn’t take much research to know that Putin is not beloved internationally. He’s been called a dictator, a tsar, and a bully. I usually don’t concern myself with politics wh … [Read more...]

Richard Sherman: Role Model?

Richard Sherman has become the face of Super Bowl buzz this year, moving into the mainstream hype right alongside the legendary Peyton Manning. He got there by trash talking, specifically in this interview after the Seattle Seahawks’ win over the 49ers put his team in the Super Bowl. Sherman declared he was the best cornerback in the NFL and took credit for the play that sealed the game. He did it with the flair of a professional wrestler, and the nation wasn’t thrilled.Sherman himself rec … [Read more...]

Kyrie Irving as Uncle Drew, Grant Hill as Uncle Tom: The Problematic Myth of the “Authentic” Black Experience

by Shane Huey The latest string of Pepsi Max commercials has every high-school hooper in America wishing they were a 60-year old man. And not just any 60-year old man, but one of the particular style and flare of Uncle Drew, a presumably debilitated “old head” who wreaks havoc on street ball courts across the country. With his sweatpants tucked securely in his socks, Uncle Drew proceeds to show all the young bloods what real ball players do--“Get buckets.”Uncle Drew’s mission is to remind us … [Read more...]

The Violence of Fantasy Football

by Cray AllredThe sport of football faces an uncertain future. More and more research is revealing the dangers concussions pose to the brain, lawsuits from former players are seeking billions of dollars in damages from the NFL, and parents are increasingly hesitant to allow their children to participate in youth football. Christians have even begun wondering if the violence inherent to the sport makes fandom problematic, since we’re supposed to value the human body over gladiator-style e … [Read more...]

Faith and Basketball

For the past few months we haven’t had ESPN in the house, but we just called to re-up. Each year about this time, my family repents from our baseball-induced backsliding even as we genuflect to that marker of faith that millions across the country recognize: the start of college basketball season. For a guy who graduated from the University of Kentucky, there’s really only one team for me to root for, although I love the talent and passion found throughout college athletics. This year, it see … [Read more...]