Half-naked dancers and public prayers in Oklahoma City

“Gonna wear my Thunderwear in Times Square.” My friend Randy Roper, the preaching minister for my home congregation in Oklahoma, came up with that winning slogan in a 2009 contest sponsored by the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a result, Roper earned a free trip to New York for the NBA Draft Lottery. (That was, of course, before the Thunder [Read More...]

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Tears and prayers on camera: Did NBC want the full Oprah?

Anyone who has watched television coverage of tense, painful events has seen it happen. This is especially true of news events that can, in any way, accurately be described as “disasters.” Years ago, I had a conversation with the late Peter Jennings about what happens next on camera: Inevitably, a reporter confronts a survivor and [Read More...]

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Pod people: Russell Wilson, ghosts, 10 years of GetReligion

Let’s do this one backwards. In a perfect world, the easy way to do mainstream news criticism is to find a really bad example of a problem and then, a few days later, find an example of an equally important news outlet that managed to do the story right. In this case, we are talking [Read More...]

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ESPN spots a ghost in the Seattle-Russell Wilson lovefest

Some GetReligion readers may have noticed that there is a big football game later today. One of the teams involved in the Super Bowl this year is the Seattle Seahawks and, as always, the team’s quarterback — in this case second-year starter Russell Wilson — is getting quite a bit of attention, for a variety [Read More...]

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Scoring spiritual points before Super Bowl Sunday

Every year about this time, we face a blitz of profile stories of coaches, athletes, owners, fans and even pets preparing to square off on Super Bowl Sunday (I’m a huge fan of Puppy Bowl, by the way). The big story in advance of the 2014 human installment: the frigid temperatures and whether or not [Read More...]

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Religion ghost haunts Dodgers’ $215 million ace

In an Associated Press story about his new, $215 million contract, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw certainly comes across as a good guy: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Even Clayton Kershaw has trouble contemplating the enormity of a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that makes him baseball’s richest pitcher. The team finalized the [Read More...]

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Pod People: Prayer’s place in science, sports and submission

Where is Jahi McMath, and what is the latest installment of her story? I’m glad you asked! Host Todd Wilken and I talked some about this and other subjects during this week’s installment of Crossroads. (This is my third podcast, and I like to think I’m not embarrassing myself as badly with experience. This being [Read More...]

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No ghosts in this SI look at Wooden, Alcindor/Abdul Jabbar

Week after week, month after month, year after year, I write GetReligion posts in which I fault mainstream sportswriters for looking the other way when they encounter religious facts and themes related to the lives of amateur and professional athletes. Some reporters ignore or radically downplay the religious elements in the lives of important athletes [Read More...]

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