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, www.photosketching.com, 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…]

The teams with longest championship drought made the World Series

The two teams that have gone the longest without winning a championship are in the World Series this year.  The Chicago Cubs last won it all in 1908. The Cleveland Indians won it in 1948.

That these two teams have conquered their respective leagues should be encouraging news for all other losers.

I’m pulling for the Cubs, in honor of my late father, a die-hard Cubs fan.

Which team are you for?  Why?  What are your predictions?

What you need to know about the series, after the jump.

[Read more…]

Question for Colin Kaepernick

My cousin Bob Foote has a question for Colin Kaepernick and other athletes protesting the American flag because of how this country treats black people:

During the Civil War, some 500,000 men gave their lives to end slavery.  They fought and died under what flag?

The left is “weaponizing” sports

In our polarized society, there are few safe topics when you strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know.  Politics is likely to provoke an argument instead of small talk; music and TV are now targeted to narrow niches; and religion makes people feel uncomfortable.  But there is always sports!  You can talk about how the local or nearby team is doing, and liberals and conservatives and evangelicals and nones are on the same page.  Even sports rivalries are generally good natured, and trash talk is usually good-humored.

But now, sports as a common, unifying social space is being politicized.  Singing the national anthem at the beginning of each game–which unites both teams and all fans under a common flag–has become an occasion for political controversy, what with Colin Kaepernick protesting America by refusing to take part, a protest spreading throughout the NFL and that will be taken up in the NBA.

The NCAA has moved seven championship events from North Carolina because of that state’s law requiring that public restrooms be segregated according to biological sex.  Such activism should surprise no one, since the NCAA is a creation of the same university administrators who have turned campuses into leftwing propaganda spaces.   College sports are their way to build enthusiastic support for their schools while distracting fans from what is happening in the classrooms and in the residence halls.  But once campus radicalism moves out of the classrooms onto the playing fields, as is starting to happen, the taxpayers who support public universities might start asking questions.

David French, excerpted and linked after the jump, discusses these issues, saying that “progressives are weaponizing sports.”

But we can still talk about the weather.  As long as the conversation steers clear of climate change. [Read more…]