The Devil Went Down to St. Louis

Sports create narratives. Really appealing ones — underdog stories, hard-work parables, rags-to-riches daydreams. But ultimately, sports teams are run by businessmen, not writers, and athletes are people with jobs first and heroes second (if at all).

Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals got a painful reminder of exactly that last week, when superstar first baseman Albert Pujols took his talents to the Los Angeles Angels for a 10-year, $254 million deal.

Cardinals fans are understandably pretty upset, and the possessiveness that fandom can generate is leading to some nasty comments about Prince Albert. His wife, Deidre Pujols, took to the airwaves of a Christian radio station (that she and her husband had helped to finance) to tell her side of the story.

“The reason I say I was angry with the Lord is because I felt like when we were at our weakest — both the Cardinals and our family — making this decision, and it just couldn’t get finished and done, I was like, ‘this is when God is going to step in.’ And it didn’t happen. And then when the news broke on Thursday morning after we had made our decision, I don’t think we anticipated the tsunami that came our way.”

Apparently staying in St. Louis just wasn’t in the divine plan, but according to Pujols, “God put [them] on a team called the Angels.” When the sports narrative fails, appeal to the god narrative. It’s foolproof! Pujols also claimed that the devil was deceiving Cardinals fans in order to destroy her family:

“In your walk of life you better [know] who is the author of persuasion and who is the author of grace,” Pujols said. “Because if the devil can persuade, which he has done here by misinforming and lack of information, he knows that then he can kill…or try to destroy us.”

If the presence of a bunch of loudmouth jerks were evidence for the devil, the Wrigley Field bleachers would be Hell.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending obsessive or hostile fans. But currying sympathy by claiming that the devil is turning a fanbase against you just strikes me as over-the-top. In addition, by claiming “God’s will,” the Pujols’ abdicate responsibility for their decision, and not only that, they imply that the entire Cardinal Nation is in defiance of the Lord. Anyone smell bridges burning?

About Megan Wells

Megan Wells is an IT tech and sports blogger in Chicago.

  • Guest

    As a note about the christian radio stationed they helped fund.  To create it they destroyed the only classical radio station St. Louis had.  For christian pop.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelley-Protte/514533638 Shelley Protte

      Confirmed. Thankfully St Louis Public Radio (Our npr-serving station) stepped in and formed a HD radio channel with classical. It’s a shame my car with my HD radio in it has been broken down for the past year and a half so I haven’t been able to listen to it on my own car radio.

      • Kelly

        I’m still bitter about it. There is also Classic99.com, which streams classical music, but it’s not as easy as flipping on the radio. Thanks, Pujols. Buh-bye.

  • Anonymous

    Cry me a river

  • Anonymous

    Cry me a river

  • Ronlawhouston

    Lot of folks are probably too young to remember Flip Wilson and “the devil made me do it!”

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    I’m so glad that God had time to talk with the Pujols. I was afraid that he was spending too much time helping Tim Tebow not suck for the last 5 minutes of each game.   But wait, it’s there a verse in the bible about a rich man, a camel heaven and the eye of the needle?  Aren’t the Angels owned by Disney which is known to support gay-rights now and then?  I wouldn’t be surprised that in some office in the Angels corporate headquarters there is a sharply dress man, with horns and a pinch fork, laughing right now. 

     Fear and Loathing in Damascus

    • Mets fan

      Disney no longer owns the Angels.

  • Guest in st louis

    for months pujols wouldn’t answer if he staying with the Cardinals saying it was all about God.. what God had planned etc .. I’m just SURE  “God” told him he needed to go somewhere with more money. -guess in st louis

    • Guest in st louis

      *GUEST in st louis

    • http://twitter.com/realmcking Mark McCoy

      Meanwhile, 10,000 babies died of starvation while God was distracted by Pujols and Tebow….

  • Charles Black

    So thats why children die from Malaria every day. God is too busy attending to the needs of whinging nobodies rather than save children. :)

  • Charles Black

    So thats why children die from Malaria every day. God is too busy attending to the needs of whinging nobodies rather than save children. :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IQJZQH2HMBL23PM7A3SU5EHO2E Marcie Spence

    I know humans are generally self centered but seriously?  With everything that’s going on in the world would a god really be concerned about someone’s baseball career?  How arrogant!


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