By Greg Dixon
Christians who don’t have a sense of humor and those of you who don’t enjoy sports can stop reading this column now because you won’t catch the drift anyway so you needn’t waste your time. Besides, you will probably just chide me too with the words of my wife, “Do you see God in everything?” I must confess that I am an incurable ‘Jesus Freak’ in that sense. Ever since I received Christ as my personal savior and ‘got saved’, in the vernacular of the fundamentalist world when I hit the ole’ ‘saw dust trail’ as Billy Sunday put it as a 14 year old boy, I’ve been seeing God in just about everything. I try not to, but I just can’t help it. Now I’m not claiming to be a prophet or the son of a prophet, but I just knew early in the week that the Patriots were going to lose Super Bowl XLII.
No I don’t remember telling anyone of my thoughts, so I can’t prove it. No, I didn’t pull the family nest egg from under the mattress and wire it to Vegas and put it on the Giants. First off, if there was such a roll, I would be too green about such worldly things as to know how to do it and besides that would have assured a Patriots win. Now, I only got to see the last half because my stick in the mud pastor here in Florida doesn’t like sports and the evening service went way overtime, but thankfully the last half was the best anyway.
By now if any super Christians are still reading this article they are saying, God isn’t interested in football and even if He was He would only be interested in sending fire down from heaven and destroying the whole mess for having this Super Mess on the Lord’s Day and especially on Sunday night when people ought to be in church. Well I can’t argue with that except a lot of the churches have solved that problem by putting up screens in the auditorium and having Super Bowl instead of Super Church and dusting off the mourners bench and saying there now, that’s being wise as a serpent and harmless as doves. You know the old saying, “You can go to the Bible to get permission for any thing.” Now if any Texans have read this far they will tell you that God is interested in football because the Cowboys are God’s team and that’s why they have the opening in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium so he can watch His team play. If God doesn’t have a sense of humor, he does have much longsuffering or He would have destroyed not only Dallas but all of Texas for such blasphemous statements as this long ago. Maybe that is why Glendale closed their roof last night, hoping that God couldn’t see their mess.
But back to why the Patriots lost, not why the Giants won the Super Bowl. Some of the headlines interested me. SUPER SURPRISE 17-14, A GIANT SHOCK, UNDER DOGS TRIUMPH. The N.Y. Times – GIANTS STUN PATRIOTS IN SUPER BOWL XLII. Regardless of how much spin the sports pundits put on the outstanding play of the Giants D-line and the unreal Houdini escapes of Eli and the acrobatic catches of Tyree they all had to admit that the Giants got some breaks that turned the tide. But in my opinion something else was involved. Randy Moss said, “I think their intensity was higher than ours.” But why? Why with 35 seconds and three time outs, which is an eternity in the NFL, would Brady go for the long bombs instead of working the sidelines to get in place for a field goal to tie. Peyton would have. It was as if down in the gut the will was gone. But why?
Was it that roof in Dallas stadium? Was God looking down? One thing for sure whether he cares about football or not he cares about each one who is playing football. And each one has a conscience inside them that was put there by God and no matter how they may look on the outside, there is a still small voice on the inside that can speak louder than a full throated stadium of fanatical fans. It’s called a conscience. The Cowboys were not the same in a loss to those same Giants in “God’s stadium” in January that knocked them out of the playoffs. Tony Romo had spent a holiday with his paramour, the beautiful actress Jessica Simpson doing you know what. One sports writer wrote, “ Romo was…shaky when he was forced to bring the Cowboys from behind and when Romo's last pass went into the hands of New York's R.W. McQuarters in the end zone, the worst fears of Cowboys fans upset over his vacation with Simpson to Cabo seemed to come true.” Conventional wisdom among fans said Simpson had further spooked Romo by being in person at the stadium.
Early last week TV cameras showed Tom Brady going into his girlfriend’s home carrying his overnight bag. I know the younger generation thinks nothing of this kind of activity any longer and mocks at us oldies by even mentioning it. However it bothered me for this super hero to be shown in such a cavalier manner as this to the nation, especially to the teens and youths right before their eyes on TV brazenly in broad daylight, without any fear of God before the biggest game of his life as if it was no big deal. But it is a big deal in the real game, the game of life that’s played every minute of every day by the big play book the Bible and ruled over by the Big Umpire in the sky. There is a verse in the Big Play Book that says, “And be sure your sins will find you out.” Millions of people all over the world commit fornication every night and no one knows but God. But Tom Brady spends the night with his girl friend, the TV cameras follow him in and the next morning they follow him out and the whole world knows what he has been doing. Brady the beautiful, the handsome, the intelligent, the talented, the envied by millions, Brady the cool, is now reduced to nothing more than Brady the fool.
Tom has the Patriots play book on his arm, he needs the Big Play Book in his heart. The one that says in the words of Solomon the wise, “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”
I am not suggesting for a moment that the Giants players as a group are any more or less moral than the Patriots. It just so happened that it was Tom that was caught this time, it could be any one of them the next. The Big Umpire in the sky is no “respecter of persons” so we all need to remember that the game of life is the one that we are all involved in, and it is far more important than any game of sport, and that it is the one that will count for all eternity.