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If God exists, He has a ton of s**t on his plate: Keeping the celestial bodies organized, determining everyone’s reward/punishment in the afterlife and slamming His almighty head against a desk whenever humans kill each other in His name. Sure, He might be everywhere–especially watching you masturbate, sinner–but that doesn’t mean He has time for everything.
And yet, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, 27% of Americans “believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event,” and 53% “believe that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.” (Those numbers are even higher for evangelicals and Southerners.)
We’re not exactly theologians, but we don’t remember hearing about pigskin in Sunday school. It’s not literally a Hail Mary pass. Now, we’re not so arrogant to speak on behalf of the Creator of the Universe. Perhaps He has a bunch of cash riding on the 49ers? Kinda like how He won that bet with Satan over Job keeping the faith back in the day.
Except here’s the thing: God doesn’t stop 16,000 murders and 600,000 cancer deaths per year, and that’s just in America. But He stops 30 NFL teams from reaching the Super Bowl?
Maybe the Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe, for whatever reason, he fixes football games like Vince McMahon fixes professional wrestling matches. Still, we refuse to believe it, because then what’s the point? We might as well watch a scripted soap opera on Sunday.
Look, we all hope that life has some kind of metaphysical purpose, and that we can rejoin our lost loved ones someday. But c’mon, sports victories should be the result of players’ hard work and determination (and perhaps deer antler extract), not a deity picking favorites based on frequency of church attendance like some crooked referee accepting bribes under the table.
Although it would be pretty satisfying if the Jets had such a terrible season last year because God hates Tim Tebow just as much as the rest of us.
+ “Guy Code” tackles Religion as a topic this Tuesday at 11/10c on MTV2