God & the Super Bowl

As I sat down to write today’s post, I started thinking (always a dangerous proposition) and found myself asking the following question:

What does God think about the Super Bowl?

Strangely enough, the phrase “Super Bowl” doesn’t appear in my Bible concordance. So I turned to the next best thing: Google. I did a simple search: “super bowl” bible. In 0.57 seconds, I had an astounding 9,240,000 results. Here’s a sampling . . .

Super Quotes: It’s truly awesome to see so many players sharing their faith when the spotlight’s shining on them. Here’s a video loaded with lots of inspirational quotes. Some of the highlights:

  • I’m just trying to follow Jesus’ example . . . one of my favorite quotes is by St. Francis of Assisi, who said: “Preach the gospel at all times. And when necessary, use words.” (Packers QB Aaron Rodgers)
  • God comes first in everything I do. It’s Christ, then my wife, then my children and then the game of football. I want to live a Christian life. I want to be Christ-like. (Packers RB Brandon Jackson)
  • You’ve got to make Him first . . . when you wake up in the morning you’ve got to give Him first the glory and then you move on with your day. (Packers WR Donald Driver)
  • The biggest thing is you’ve got to give all the praise and all the glory to God. He’s the reason I’m here. He’s brought me through so much. I truly believe in Him. My faith in Him is sky high. (Packers RB James Starks)
  • Faith is so much bigger than football. Football is what we do. Faith is who we are. (Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin)
  • [Faith] is where I find anything in my life that has meaning. I see it through my eyes of faith. Whether it’s my relationship with my wife, whether it’s football, whether it’s running, jumping, anything. (Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu)
  • If you stay committed to God, God will take care of you no matter what. But it starts with obedience. If you start with obedience, you’ll go a long with God. You’re not going to find it in money, you’re not going to find it cars, in women, in a relationship. If your relationship is right with Christ — that’s the biggest relationship. If you got that right with Christ everything else is going to fall in order. (Steelers WR Antwaan Randle El)

And here’s an article about the Packers’ weekly Bible study with a quote from Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers: “I’ve always said coaches get too much of the credit and often too much of the blame. You’re never as good or as bad as people say, but you’ve got to have faith in God to be able to handle the ups and the downs because usually there are going to be more downs.”

Super Commercials: Not everyone’s talking about God, though. Fox Sports rejected a commercial that sought to explain John 3:16 — a verse that’s often displayed on signs at the Super Bowl (remember the seemingly omnipresent rainbow-hair guy?). Apparently, Bible-y messages would be too upsetting for those used to seeing non-stop beer ads. Click here to see the commercial.

Super $$$: I also stumbled across an article entitled The Super Bowl and Christianity: Dividing Lines, in which the author reels off a batch of interesting Super Bowl factoids, including that: (1) ads cost $2.3 million each — $77,000 per second; (2) members of the winning team get $73,000 (the losers get “only” $38,000); and (3) fans are expected to shell out more than $50 million on food alone over Super Bowl weekend. She then challenges Christians to think deep thoughts while watching the game to see if perhaps we might be guilty of trying to serve two masters — both God and money.

Super Sunday School: Click here for a Super Bowl-themed Bible Study for kids. It contrasts what followers of the Packers look like (wearing cheeseheads) versus followers of the Steelers (waving terrible towels) versus followers of Jesus (clothed in love, joy, peace and the other Fruit of the Spirit). Click here for “Sunday School Super Bowl,” a game in which kids answer Bible trivia questions for a chance to get into the eternal endzone. There are Super Bowl-based Bible studies for adults, too — here’s one written by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy that asks “What’s your game plan?”

Super Betting: You can wager on just about anything related to the Super Bowl. For example, you can bet on whom the Super Bowl MVP will thank first in his post-game interview. The current favorite? God (as well he should be).

Discussion

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