Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Silly God Talk

The Packers won. They were the best team in American football. 

Or were they?

One of the first interviews after the victory had a gem from one of the evangelical christians who drop to one knee after a touchdown, touch their foreheads and then point to the sky. Sometimes with a self crossing, sometimes without. Maybe often without. I tend not to pay as much attention to the alternative touchdown dance as the camera operators.

Most post game interviews are filled with cliches. We knew they were going to give us a run for our money. . . We had to pick back up the momentum . . . He's like that . . . 

At the end of the game yesterday, however, one of the evangelical types brought the god to it. "To God be the glory . . . " was his mantra. I think he said it two or three times. It left me wondering.

First, does this player, in his evangelical zeal, remember how god got the glory?

Usually god got the glory, in the old testament, by playing for the less well prepared, less well equipped, and less talented army. If god fought for the guys who had the talent and the arms and the numbers, where would be god's glory? It would have been hogged by a David or a Saul or a Solomon - and you know those guys didn't need their egos stroked. So god generally wanted to diminish the size of the forces so that his glory would be the greater. 

It's the same strategy that Henry V adopts on Saint Crispen's Day: 

"If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more."

The apostle Paul says much the same thing when reminding the Corinthians of god's choice of them to be children. "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise . . . what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are . . ." It's the same impulse. All the glory to god, none of the glory to human strength and might and smarts and power and playbook.

So, what this Packer evangelical was saying was that nothing came from his team: that the Steelers were, actually and objectively, the better team, with all the equipment to overpower the Packers. The Packers were the lowest ranked team ever to make it to and win the superbowl. That's because that's the way god wanted it.

He's saying that there couldn't have been a less deserving team. God wanted the Packers to win. 

What's God got against the Steelers?

Does Las Vegas know about this? What happens to the odds makers if god's picking favorites? Should Lost Wages now stop calculating and start praying?

These are profound questions.

Or maybe the ritual post-game interview should be abandoned so players stop saying stupid stuff and we stop listening to it.

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