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In Theory: Who is God rooting for this Super Bowl?

January 31, 2014

According to a study by the Public Religion Research Institute, "football fans are more likely than other sports fans to report praying to God (33% vs. 21%). They also are more apt to believe their team has been cursed (31% vs. 18%), and to perform rituals before or during games (25% vs. 18%)."

Q: With the Seattle Seahawks battling the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl this weekend and fans on both sides sending up prayers, do you think God will have a say in the outcome?

It's ridiculous to think that the religious actions of the fans would affect the outcome of a football game. Everyone knows that it's the religious acts of the players that count. Among all football players, God particularly favors (in ascending order of favor, lowest to highest) those who:

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  1. Change their mouthpieces to color-match the liturgical seasons

  2. Instead of 'talking smack' to the opposing players, say "Well, aren't you special!"

  3. Actually say the full prayer, while the ball is in the air on a Hail Mary pass

  4. Carry a small vial of holy oil tucked into their sock, so that when another player gets injured on the field, they can quickly anoint them for healing

  5. Allow the blitz, seeing it as merely "forgiving those who trespass against us"

  6. Shake hands with the player on either side of them in the huddle, quickly whispering "Peace be with you"

  7. Politely ask the opposing players to fall down, rather than tackle them, knowing that Jesus frowns upon "causing another to stumble" (Mark 9:42)

  8. '"Take a knee" in the locker room or on the sideline facing east — the direction of the sunrise and therefore the resurrection and therefore the presence of Christ and therefore the proper direction for the act of genuflection

  9. Tithe (give 10% of) their multimillion-dollar salary to their local Episcopal church

  10. Volunteer to teach Sunday School in the off-season

Moneyballers, do your homework! I guarantee that the team which has the most players who do these things regularly will win the Super Bowl.

The Rev. Amy Pringle
St. George's Episcopal Church
La Cañada Flintridge

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