The Washington Redskins and the Potential for a Better Identity

It’s a little hard to believe that, in a culture so obsessed with political correctness and respect for all people, a team name like the Washington Redskins persists and can, in fact, be staunchly defended by large swathes of the populace. This month, amid rumors that a name change could be in the offing, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder wrote an open letter to the team's fans reaffirming his commitment to the name. “When I consider the Washington Redskins name,” he writes, “I think of what i … [Read more...]

Why I Won’t Encourage My Kids to Play Football

On August 29, 2013, the N.F.L. announced that it had agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit brought by thousands of players and their families. The lawsuit claimed the N.F.L. had actively concealed information about the dangers of repeated hits to the head, which have been discovered to include increased risk for dementia, depression, and degenerative brain disease. More: The money would be used for medical exams, concussion-related compensation and a program of medical research for r … [Read more...]

Are Concussions the Price We Pay for Manly Men?

 Owen Strachan and I appear to have joined a theological team.  Strachan suggested that Christians must support their claims that “Every square inch of the cosmos is Christ’s!” (a quote from theologian Abraham Kuyper) by thinking more biblically about football.But the views of some critics can be summarized as: “Doesn’t matter. Football makes Manliness™.”On Thursday, Strachan introduced on Twitter his article, Our Shaken Faith in Football. “Gender roles controversy?” (Yes, oc … [Read more...]

According to Andrew O’Hehir, Football Is in a Well-Deserved ‘Death Spiral’

As I write this, countless Americans are preparing to get together with friends and family to watch the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers square off against each other in Super Bowl XLVII. The Super Bowl is arguably America's biggest sporting event, but it's also the biggest marketing day of the year, as advertisers reveal multi-million dollar commercials during the game's primetime hours. Hollywood gets in on the action too and uses the game to air teasers and trailers for the year's bi … [Read more...]

Will My Son Be Black Enough for Rob Parker?

I'm a pretty mild-mannered lady. I go to church. I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my four kids. I love the library. However, there is a small list of people who I would really like to punch in the face. This week, ESPN analyst Rob Parker joined that list.I'm not a huge sports aficionado, and on most occasions when somebody on ESPN says something dumb about an athlete, I'm not likely to take notice. But Parker happened to hit a hot button for me. He felt the need to question … [Read more...]

Kathy Redmond’s Story is One of Justice, Forgiveness, and Cornhusker Football

I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and college football is the (un)official state religion. When the Cornhuskers play home games, Memorial Stadium becomes the state's third largest city, and that's been the case for a very long time. (The stadium currently holds an NCAA record of 325 consecutive sellouts.) People eat, sleep, and breathe Husker football here, and when the team wins or loses, it can affect the entire state's psyche.This can certainly be a good thing. Even though I'm not a huge … [Read more...]

Ray Guy Should Be in the Football Hall of Fame

Winners punt. I have re-iterated this truth hundreds of times. I have said it when watching college football with friends who are screaming for the coach to "Go for it!" on fourth down and one to go. I have said it when playing the various incarnations of Madden Football on the PlayStation over the years when friends go for fourth and thirteen because they are convinced their receiver will catch the Hail Mary hope. Winners punt. Punters win football games. Period.That is why I find it … [Read more...]

Football without a Prayer: Why Pre-Football Piety is a Bad Idea

How should Christians respond to attacks on pre-game prayers by groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation? Drew Dixon argues that if we pause to consider the matter biblically, we might side with the atheists. I like to pray and I like to watch football. I love Jesus and I love my church. So why would I support efforts to remove public prayers from football games? I support such efforts precisely because I love Jesus and His bride, the church. This year numerous public high schools … [Read more...]

The Holy Huddle: On Peyton Manning and the Fleeting Nature of Life

Each week in The Holy Huddle, Doug Hankins takes a look at the goings on of the sports world from a distinctly Christian perspective. At the official press conference last week, Peyton Manning choked back tears as he delivered a prepared speech to announce that he had been cut by the Indianapolis Colts after 14 years of service. He thanked the organization that drafted him in 1998, and he thanked the fans for their support. But the most haunting feature of his tear-filled delivery was the way i … [Read more...]

Super Sunday: The Day Masculinity Dug its Own Grave

One of the oddest days in the U.S., Super Sunday, can seem like some sort of cultural bizarro world. Those who dislike sports not only put up with it for several hours, but often get invested in a football game of which they had no knowledge or interest beforehand, which speaks to the power of the social event and the shared experience. Even more odd, and perhaps more sinister, is the fact that a huge majority of people who watch the Super Bowl also look forward to the commercials. Something … [Read more...]