Superstition Marathon: The Soccer World Cup Has Kicked Off, So It’s Peak Season for Irrationality

It’s fútbol time! If you’re a soccer fan like me, the next four weeks are going to be exciting. We’ll witness astonishing ball skills, tactical genius, lots of grit and feats of stamina, and the occasional on-pitch thuggery (four years ago, the Dutch team played a series of shocking anything-goes World Cup games so brutal they would’ve made Attila the Hun blush).

But something else is going to be on clear display: superstition. Whether it’s players’ lucky underwear, their habit of kissing a cross-shaped pendant prior to kick-off, or, after scoring a goal, pointing to the sky in praise of the Creator, unabashedly irrational behavior will be rampant. (England’s Gary Lineker was famous for not shooting on goal during the pre-game warm-up, as he thought he’d be “wasting” perfectly good goal-scoring opportunities.)

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Jesus, Full of Hot Air, Dons an Australian Jersey in Advance of the World Cup

In anticipation of the World Cup, Australian online gambling website Sportsbet released a hot air balloon this morning in Melbourne. The balloon was an imitation of Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue wearing an Australian soccer jersey:

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Texas School District Wins Court Battle to Prevent Billboard at Football Games

The Lubbock Independent School District in Texas is home to Lowrey Field, where the four high schools in the area play their home football games. The 8,500-seat stadium also houses a digital billboard where companies like Whataburger, Fuddruckers, and United Supermarkets pay for ads to run during the big games.

So, naturally, the man behind wanted to place an ad there, too:

(The website has nothing to do with tattoos, by the way. It’s just one guy’s failed idea of a “hip” way to convert teens to Christianity.)

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Why Does This Public High School Football Team in Georgia Have an Official Pastor?

Another public school with a Christian football team?!

Oh. Right. Georgia.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation got word that Alexander High School’s football team in Douglasville is run by a coach who think it’s okay to have pre-game meals sponsored by a local church and allow the church’s pastor to lead the team in prayer before they take the field.

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What Happened to the NFL Prospect Who Ditched the Scouting Combine Because God Told Him To?

Remember Adam Muema? He’s the running back from San Diego State University who ditched the NFL’s Scouting Combine because he said God told him he would be drafted by the Seattle Seahawks if he left early:

Not only was he not drafted by the Seahawks, he wasn’t drafted at all.

Kevin Van Valkenburg, writing for ESPN The Magazine, attempted to get in touch with Muema after he left the Combine — and the full story about Muema’s whereabouts tell a much more disturbing story, including the mention of a self-proclaimed modern-day Christ named Lord RayEl.

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