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…]

Who won the Superbowl?

The Baltimore Ravens, of course, holding off a jaw-dropping comeback by the 49ers in an extremely thrilling game.  The title of this post refers to who won the Superbowl contest sponsored by this blog by predicting the outcome.  The final score was Ravens 34; 49ers 31.   So the Ravens won by 3.   Therefore our virtual Lombardi trophy goes to JOHN, who guessed Ravens 24-21.  A margin of 3 points.

Now I myself was unable to see the game, being on the road for a speaking engagement.  It seems like I am ALWAYS on the road for a speaking engagement during on Superbowl Sunday, flying back late at night and checking the TV sets in the airports to see how the game is going.   This is probably the third time this happened to me in the last four years.  So I missed what sounds like a really good game.

So if you want to discuss the game–or the commercials, or the blackout, or the national anthem, or the halftime show  (notice how all of these other things have become part of the ritual Superbowl reflections)–comment here.

Superbowl XLVII

The day may come when reckoning time according to the birth of Christ will give way to numbering our years according to the Roman numerals of the Superbowl.  That’s basically what the ancient Greeks did when they counted their years according to what Olympiad it was.   Anyway, we need to recognize our de facto national holiday, which happens on Sunday:  The Superbowl.  It has acquired its own rituals:  assembling not with family but with friends; feasting on finger foods; watching commercials.  Maybe it’s time to ask of this festival day what we ask of other holidays:  What is the true meaning of Superbowl? [Read more…]

Packers and Steelers go to the Superbowl

Both of the division championship games were surprisingly alike.  One team absolutely dominated in the first half, but then in the second half the other team showed life and came within striking distance.  But the Packers from Green Bay, Wisconsin (pop. 100,353) defeated the Bears from Chicago, Illinois (pop. 2,896,016).  Also the Steelers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (pop. 312,819), defeated the Jets from New York City, New York (pop. 8,214,426).

So it will be a small town Superbowl, a rust belt Superbowl.

I realize that people who live or have lived in Pittsburgh and in Pennsylvania generally will support the Steelers.

I urge everyone else to support the Packers.   Liberals should like them because they aren’t owned by some rich capitalist; rather, they are publicly owned.  Conservatives should like them because they represent small town America.  Let’s make this a campaign for national unity (except for Pittsburgh).

The right teams are in the Superbowl

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will play in the Superbowl, as seems fitting. Both teams came close to having perfect seasons until the very end. That would have set up the most remarkable Superbowl ever. But still, though my own favorites didn’t make it, I have to say that these two teams being in the big game seems cosmically just, for once. Cosmic justice would end with New Orleans winning–making up for Hurricane Katrina and all that–but I pick the Colts.