Super Bowl post-mortem

13976579960_02e0de6bdb_zWhat a great Super Bowl.  New England was down by 25 points late in the third quarter, but came back to force the first overtime in Super Bowl history, whereupon Tom Brady marched his team down the field for a winning touchdown.  This was the biggest comeback ever in the championship series.  Although I was pulling for Atlanta–which played superbly for most of the game–that was a fun game to watch.  If I were more invested in a team (if the Packers were playing and lost in a similar way), I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much, but unlike many Super Bowl games, this one was a thriller.

The commercials were not all that annoying this year.  My favorites:  The animated yearbook pictures of famous people, though I don’t recall what product they were advertising, which sort of defeats the purpose.  The Melissa McCarthy environmentalist Kia ad was hilarious. But, though I may have missed some, I didn’t see any that were overtly sexual, distasteful, or sensationalistic, as has become common in Super Bowl ads.  There were a few that featured immigrants, a fraught topic at the moment, but none of them seemed overly political or in the Hollywood protest mode.

Even the frequently outrageous Lady Gaga in her halftime show didn’t protest Donald Trump or scandalize the nation, from what I could tell.  She even worked in some patriotic numbers, along with her visual spectacle as filmed by drones.

We even threw a little party, which added to the experience.  So this was for me a rarely satisfying Super Bowl.

What do you have to say about it?


Illustration by Jack Kurzenknabe,, Public Domain.

The Superbowl and vocation

Falcons_vs_Redskins_2006The Superbowl is this weekend, time for the obligatory polls about whether or not God gets involved in the outcome of sporting events.  One-quarter of Americans believe that he does.  About a half believe that God rewards faithful athletes with health and success.

Certainly, the easy answer is that of course God doesn’t care about a sporting event because He has much more important things to do.  But if God attends to the fall of a sparrow, why wouldn’t He attend to the fall of a pigskin?

The real problem is that all this assumes a theology of glory (God’s favor = success).  But what would a Lutheran approach to this question be like?

The answer to where is God in the Superbowl would have to be in vocation.  Athletes on both sides should do their best with their God-given talents.  Furthermore, they should love and serve their neighbors when they play.  Their neighbors would be their teammates, the viewing public, their opponents.  So they shouldn’t cheat, make cheap hits that needlessly harm their opponents, etc.  And they should know that God is just as likely to break them with trials and tribulations, if that is what they need so as to depend on Hi.

Other than that, things just have to play out.  Can anything else be said on this topic? [Read more…]

So why the loss of interest in the NFL?

9791303373_196450407d_zTelevision ratings are way down for professional football games.  The NFL is trying to figure out why the sudden loss of interest.

I have to say that I am not as interested in the games as I used to be, even last year, and I’m not sure why.  I don’t think it’s just because the Packers aren’t doing all that well.  I saw them through rougher times.  And it’s not because the games are too long.  I like long games.  And it’s not because Colin Kaepernick is disrespecting the flag.  He’s getting sacked so much that a patriotic fan might take some satisfaction in watching that.  I’m just kind of tired of it.  I still get excited about College Football (go Sooners!) and I’ve started following the NBA (go Thunder!).  But the NFL is giving me a “meh” feeling.

So let me consult you.  Are you still following NFL games as avidly as you used to?  If not, why not? [Read more…]

Oklahoma State wins national football championship

Oklahoma State University has won its first national championship in football!  For 1945.

The American Football Coaches Association is cleaning up its records from between 1922 and 1949, when the championships were not clearly defined.

OSU–then, Oklahoma A&M–had an undefeated season and a Sugar Bowl win, along with an All-American leading rusher and a defense that gave up just 8.6 points a game.  Nevertheless, it ended the season ranked #5, behind Army, Alabama, Navy, and Indiana. [Read more…]

Super Bowl L (or is it 50?)

The Super Bowl has always been the showcase for Roman numerals.  But this year the NFL, apparently not wanting the connotations of “L” for “loser,” is labeling this half-century contest with the Arabic numerals “50.”

The students at Master’s Academy Classical Club, from a classical Christian school in Matthews, NC, took umbrage at this and launched a campaign to the get the NFL to return to Latin numbering.  They actually won an audience with an NFL official who assured them that next year would feature Super Bowl LI.   (The Wall Street Journal ran a charming article on this:   How the Super Bowl ost a etter – WSJ [subscription required].)

Speaking of the Super Bowl. . . [Read more…]

St. Louis Rams are moving to L.A.

The St. Louis Rams are moving to Los Angeles. The Oakland Raiders might also move to Los Angeles.  And if they don’t, the San Diego Chargers will.  L.A.’s two teams might even play in the same stadium!

L.A. lost two teams in the 1990s–ironically, the Rams and the Raiders–but now will have two at the same time.  The NFL owners approved the move from St. Louis, despite the city’s proposal to build a new stadium. Yes, L.A. is the nation’s second biggest media market, but small market cities like Green Bay and in basketball Oklahoma City can still have successful and profitable professional teams.

Losing an NFL franchise is traumatic for any city, but it should hit St. Louis especially hard, with its reputation of being such a great sports city.  What’s happening, all you Lutherans from St. Louis? [Read more…]