God Hates the Boston Celtics

The Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. How did this happen?

Let’s look at the stats:


Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics
Field Goal Pct.
0.514
0.392
Points from Bench
25
12
3-pt. Field Goal Pct.
0.619
0.250
Blocks
8
3
God
Loves them
Hates them

Ohh… now I get it.

Magic center Dwight Howard may have only seen the last line there…

“First, I want to thank God, man, because without Him none of this would be possible. I told my guys before the game if we come out, we play 100%, play hard for 48 minutes, then God is gonna do the rest, and He did it tonight. We got a good victory, man — it’s all because of Him.”

I don’t care if Howard is religious. But implicit in his statement is the idea that God wanted to see Boston lose. Let’s see Howard address that. Let’s hear a Celtics player say, “Yeah, God wasn’t on our side tonight.”

SuperBowlXX has a much longer, in-depth post about athletes and their faith at Daily Kos. He also remarks about the stigma that would befall any atheist athlete who dared to say something like “God had nothing to do with my team’s victory.” It’s a great read with tons of examples. He writes:

So let me offer a suggestion to Dwight Howard and all athletes who choose to use the camera to thank God for their victories in sports: It is okay if you don’t. Honestly. I will not think any less of you as athletes or as persons for believing in a higher power, and I’m sure that most fans wouldn’t mind if you chose not to promote your belief that God helped you win that game. If you wish to express gratefulness for anything, please be grateful for the fact that you are playing a game as your full-time job. Be grateful for the fact that millions of people look up to you and admire you and follow you all year round in the hopes that your team wins. Be grateful for the fact that you are skilled enough to be working in a profession that not only pays a huge amount of money, but that only a very small handful of people in the entire country ever get to do. Be grateful for the fact that you can do sports for a living when millions of families living in poverty, who live with no roofs over their heads, often cannot even get enough food to survive.

In the grand scheme of things, I would think a basketball game is meaningless. I doubt any god would care about a team’s performance.

One day, after an athlete talks about how God helped his team win, I’d love to see the reporter rebut the statement — ask follow-ups, question the athlete’s logic, ask why God wanted them to lose the other games. How great would that be?

  • John

    In effect, a pretty sad god who needs to be concerned with the outcome of a basketball game.

  • Matto the Hun

    I’m glad athletes say dumb-ass things like this. It’s something that always stuck in my craw, even when I believed in god. As such it was one of building blocks to realizing that the whole god thing is as absurd as these statements.

    Hopefully it will do the same for others.

  • H

    How come they never say “God made me drop the ball!”?

  • http://noguyinthesky.blogspot.com/ No Guy in the Sky

    Of course God was on his side. God is magic and they are Magic. Duh! I think it will truly be interesting when the Magic take on the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are really descendants of Gods own personal army. The Templar Knights. I have a special feeling God will intervene and let Lebron go biblical on Howard.

    Great post. :)

  • James H

    A couple notes:

    1) Please explain the Detroit Lions. Some cosmic power clearly hates them.

    2) Damn Yankees clearly established the Devil as a Washington Senators fan, or at least not a Yankees fan.

    3) Perhaps players’ religious faith is an indicator of their cohesiveness as a team. That is, they have a connection with each other through their common faith, and that is reflected in their ability to work together on court.

  • bernerbits

    Correlation is not causation. Just because God hates the Boston Celtics, doesn’t mean he made them lose on purpose.

  • TXatheist

    Kurt Warner is one of the biggest evangelicals in sports and god made him lose the superbowl so don’t always bet on god…study statistics.

  • Tarrkid

    Clearly God hates the Celtics (MY Celtics) because the Celtics have that lovable little leprechaun…

    God’s just puttin’ the smackdown on the competition.

  • Larry Huffman

    Of course we all know this is really just self-serving crap. These athletes, who earn big bucks to play games that children play on the playground, are wanting to validate themselves in OUR eyes. They want the respect that people of faith offer other people of faith. That is all this is. To borrow the words of one of my favorite fictitious characters in literature…Jesus…”…they have their reward”…just as the man who prays on the street corner for all to hear.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    If a 300 pound couch potato wins the Boston Marathon (as a 300 pounder) and then credits god, I’ll believe them. :-)

    Funny, but when it comes to sports, god always seems to favor the team that has better players (or in the Celtic-Magic team, god favored the team that wasn’t missing 40 percent of their starting line up)

  • billybee

    “..So let me offer a suggestion to Dwight Howard and all athletes who choose to use the camera to thank God for their victories in sports: It is okay if you don’t…”

    the christians will bawl:

    WE’RE BEING PERSECUTED !!!!

    They love to believe that being politely asked to curb their enthusiasm for Jebus is the equivalent of being nailed (upside down!) to a cross.

  • http://agersomnia.blogspot.com Agersomnia

    There’s even a short story of Anthony deMello about a man who thought himself specially close to God, so much that he doesn’t take care for his horse (or was it a camel? not important) because God will keep it from being stolen.
    Then a spiritual master sends the dude outside to look for his horse, because God has many more important things to do than to look for a mount.

  • Jeff Satterley

    God hates the Celtics because of Kevin Garnett’s potty mouth…

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sportsprose/2009/04/kevin_garnett_trash_talk_celtics_bulls.html

  • Richard Wade

    The list of what God hates is getting a lot longer than the list of what God loves, and just by remarkable coincidence, whatever He hates or loves always benefits the people who are adding to the lists.

  • Infinite Monkey

    Do you remember Kathy Griffin and that one award she won and she told god to suck it? That caused a major uproar.

    Me, I’ll be impressed when its a 3-0 victory, and only one team made any shoots, and the ONE that went in, somehow bounced all the way to the other guys’ hoop.

  • David D.G.

    One day, after an athlete talks about how God helped his team win, I’d love to see the reporter rebut the statement — ask follow-ups, question the athlete’s logic, ask why God wanted them to lose the other games. How great would that be?

    That would be awesome, but the reporter had better already have his next job lined up, because he’ll be fired by morning the next day (unless he’s interviewing the athlete for an explicitly atheism-friendly show or publication).

    ~David D.G.

  • http://www.anatheist.net James

    God is so unpredictable, man. One year he loves the Boston Celtics above all else and this year he doesn’t. I am beginning to think that God is a fair weather fan.

  • http://www.banalleakage.com martymankins

    What a great statement over at Daily Kos. Sums it all up.