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The problem may not be "sports" per se, but the equating of "American sports" with a somehow "Christian nation" that can be celebrated on and off the field through the embodied metaphor of sports. It is, perhaps (and sadly), a neo-pagan "Americanism" that is being celebrated.
Sports writer Jimmy Cannon once wrote: Too many people spend their time in the toy room of life rather than in the living room of life. So sport , as Paul Hoch states, has become an opiate of the masses, dulling the senses of realtiy for those who are either fans or avid participants. And, according to the former chancellor of U. of Michigan, college sports have been hijacked by commercialism and the media, thus eliminating all hope that sport can be an educational experiecne. Hoffman so vividly points out such deviance. However, in all that I have read and examined throughout the years from Hoffman's writing, I feel he struggles with the transformation of the thousands of atheltes who have either become Christ-followers or have strengthened their faith through sport. Therein lies the rub! Is there something beyond sport that causes this? I think so, and down deep I think Hoffman does as well.
I suggest reading Tine Hardeman's (missionary coach in Philippines) book The Real Game That Matters.
Sports is orthogonal to Christianity. Not intrinsically bad, not intrinsically good. I do wish we pursued intellectual discovery with the same intensity that sports are pursued, and I'm really tired of people using sports metaphors or assuming that because I'm a big guy I'm a football player.
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