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It's a warm and hazy day, and Frank and I are at our sons' Little League practice, watching baseball but talking football. Nothing could be more typical of metro Pittsburgh in June. The Pirates, at 10 games below .500, are ambling toward their 15th straight ...

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Displaying 1–16 of 16 comments

Rick

September 19, 2007  1:11pm

I think that if the author lived in Boston, the article would have been about baseball.

Anonymous

September 13, 2007  10:56am

Shall we sin so that grace may abound?

Hank Halle

September 13, 2007  9:28am

I don't understand how so many men can get caught up so intensely in something that simply does not matter. Instead, be intense about politics and your faith, things that actually affect the world. I'm no wimp. I love hiking and I work out. But I have simply never had this thing for professional sports viewing. It is boring.

Mike

September 12, 2007  8:34am

Paul, Your wrong about more kids getting hurt in football. Look up the stats!!! You will find the all american sport of soccer as #1.

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Dr. D, Atlanta, GA

September 10, 2007  9:11am

This is a great essay! I passed it along to my husband who expected another guilt-inducing lashing by a well-intended Christian spoil sport. I believe a wise wife will learn to love sports if her husband does. My husband taught me to love college football, college basketball, and gave me custom golf clubs and private lessons early on -- and I am sometimes a bigger sports fan than he is! While all the other wives are whining somewhere to each other about being sports widows, I am enjoying God's beautiful outdoors, growing closer to my husband (and our college-age children), having screaming good fun -- and being admired by all the men whose wives will not join them. "An excellent wife, who can find?" Well, maybe I am not exactly an excellent wife, but being a great sports fan sure makes my husband think so!

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Scott McCarty

September 10, 2007  5:25am

Terrific article (!!)--about how the Christians in the USA have become just like the world. LAODICEA §§ I am glad the Apostle Paul wrote what was interesting and helpful for our lives in Christ. The Lord Jesus had plenty of enthuasme; He could have taught some lessons from the gladiator world, but he had something better to teach. Sports was my god while growing up in NE Georgia, and I have to be careful today as an evangelical missionary in France not to let the sirens of sport dominate me. Why don't we let II Corinthiens 5 : 10 set the standard ("bad" in the Greek means "vain, worthless, unprofitable") ? Will Jesus ask us which team we idolized ? Do we have the same zeal to win the lost-- Hell is a reality mostly forgotten--for whom Christ suffered !!

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Christy Tucker

September 09, 2007  8:39pm

I love college football but not so much for pro football But I did stay up to 1:00 a.m. to see Auburn get beat, our bitter rival in the state of Alabama. Go Bama! ROLL TIDE!

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Paul

September 08, 2007  10:58am

Anonymous is right. This is pretty far fetched. Sort of reminds me of Bart Simpson on the cover a few years ago. That was CT, wasn't it. People like football for the same reasons Romans like gladiatorial conflicts in the arena. Aggression and violence are blended with skill and training. There are some positives there. But ponder this, in an age when tag has been banned at a public grade school: ambulances still stand by for HS football games. Kids get HURT playing this game more than they do in any other school sanctioned activity. And it is the most popular. That's my point.

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Frank Wingard

September 07, 2007  11:13pm

I am not a sports fan particularly professional sports. It is indeed big business. It has a lot more to say about American's fascination with violence and the lure of celeberity than it does about sportsmanship.

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Evangelist Chad McMillan

September 07, 2007  7:42pm

When I was a freshman football player at the University of Texas in 1987, a staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ's Athletes in Action sports ministry knocked on my door, shared Christ with me and was instrumental in me coming to Christ. It was amazing to see how Jesus began to transform my life and give me a greater passion to be an outstanding football player. No longer was I playing for my own glory but for God's. He has used my platform as a player to share Christ with people all around the world. I developed a business card with my testimony written on the back and my UT football picture on the front. I have distrubuted this "evangelistic trading card" to thousands of people in Mexico, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Turkey, Nicaragua, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and all over the U.S.. I have found that most people are eager to pick up the card and read it because they see the picture of an American Football player on the front. Yeah God!!!

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Kim

September 07, 2007  4:44pm

I love football! It is the only sport season that's short enough that I can keep up with. MY Titans are going to have a great year, I can "feel" it. All that aside, I try to go to one game a year. I go not because I even pay complete, rapt attention to the game. I go because I'm at a place in my life that I can, by God's grace and blessing, afford to do so. While there, I am often anywhere but there. I am in the midst of God's glorious creation. It's an outdoor stadium. For a short time, I'm trapped out in nature, completely involved in it. My mind wanders all over and I generally connect with God in a way there that I is at times difficult when so many other pressing matters are more readily obvious. I forget about my daily "stuff" and just AM. I become a human being rather than a human doing. That's pretty neat, and I try to carry that "being" back with me to sustain me till next year's one game. That one game is my "beach" in winter. Thank God for it!

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Pastor Thornton

September 07, 2007  2:34pm

I love football; both collegiate and professional. And one of the biggest decisions I had to make when I came back to Christ 17 years ago was whether or not to go to church Sunday evening or stay home and watch the Super Bowl. I went to church. As much as we love it, we should admit as Christians it has become an idol. In a recent poll, the number one reason why men say they don't want to go to church today is because they want to stay home and watch the "game." Idolatry is an old fashioned word, but it is not out of date. The New Testament still warns Christians to keep away from idols, which means anything that can come between us and God. As much as we love football, is it really spiritually healthy for us? Does it interfere with out worship of God? Does it hinder the power of the church in reaching lost souls? And if we all just "join them in the stands" on Sunday, will there be anything resembling a church in this country? Maybe we can learn to fit God into halftime!

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Pastor Poedel

September 07, 2007  2:03pm

The comments about "coming home" are interesting. I am an avid, but not idolotrous, Green Bay Packer fan. The team is my only connection with Wisconsin, my home state. As my Phoenix parish is made up of large numbers of transplanted souls, NFL season brings out the most social interaction with those Vikings, Bears, Lions and, of course Packer fans using the identity of their home team as their own. This also explains why the Arizona Cardinals have had only half hearted local support: no one likes the Bidwell's, the team owners. For the Packers coming to Arizona, the stadium becomes "Lambeau Field West", same is true of most teams visiting Phoenix...it's a home game. The new Cardinal's stadium is helping, but not much. Fascinating topic.

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Trey

September 07, 2007  1:56pm

Very good article. Too bad you are a Steelers fan. :) I have to differ with Brother Les and his comments however. Dallas does love its Cowboys and its champions. When the bar is set at the top it is hard to accept anything else. But Les you have to ask yourself, why has the team sold out every home game during the last ten years...a ten year span with 0 playoff victories. You are far too negative. Also, your comment about preachers, though partially correct (not nearly as many preachers do this as you think), can also apply to Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Buffalo or any other city with a diehard fan base. Don't be so parochial. And by the way, it has been almost twenty years since the Landry firing. Get over it already (that's what usually fuels the fire of the anti-Jerry faction).

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Les Nordman

September 07, 2007  1:20pm

Excellent overview of the relationship of one region, and then the entire US, to pro football. In contrast, Dallas, TX worships the Cowboys. Who do not play in Dallas. "Da boyz" flit from one to anonymous locale in the Metroplex to another. Anyplace that bows before owner Jerry Jones, raises taxes and his latest stadium. Sorry! Wrong. Dallas does not worship the Cowboys, they worship champions. If the Cows lose, the stadium empties and barbs fly in the media. No matter how many felons Jerry has to hire to win for him, if they win, Dallas will come. And speaking of coming, it was Dallas that introduced "safe sex" to the NFL. In Dallas, the buckle of the Bible Belt, the deep end of the Southern Baptistry, many preachers cut their sermons short so that they and their congregation can make it home in time to prostrate themselves before their idols. Grace may kick her legs on the sidelines, among the half-naked cheerleaders, but she is absent from the field. Good article.

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Anonymous

September 07, 2007  1:11pm

You've got to be kidding me! I like football but this essay is ridiculous. Football has about as much to do with God's grace as the ancient Roman gladiators. This is why I rarely read Christianity Today. They are too consumed with pop culture. Oh well, guess I'll go read their movie reviews...

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