May 10, 2011

Team Prayer: In Jesus Name We Play

By Francis Nye

When I was younger and in sports, coach would have us all huddle around for a moment of prayer before the game and ask God to give us the strength to beat the opposing team.  This is one of those things that left me to wondering, does one really think that the almighty is going to intervene and cause one’s team to be victorious?

Seriously think about it.  Two groups of twelve year old boys are going to square off at a football game and the adults that are running the show (the coaches) ask for divine intervention so their team can be victorious. 

Let me paint the scene for you.  Saint Peter comes running up to God all out of breath.  God…God…, oh thank heaven I found you.  I have these two urgent requests from a couple of coaches.  They desperately need your help in crushing the other team.  Which you will choose, Saint Peter asks all wide eyed.  I can only imagine what god thinks when these two prays are dialed into his hotline.  He probably rolls his eyes and says, give me a break.  These two idiots can’t be serious.  With people dying of dieses and hunger and a whole host of other disasters that are going on all over the world, these two morons are wasting my time with this! 

All I have to say is they are lucky I am not god.  I don’t suffer fools and idiots like the Almighty obviously does.  If I received a pray request like this I would send a bolt of forked lighting and smote both coaches in one shot.  They would be nothing more than two smoldering piles of burnt meat and hair.

There was a poll taken that asked, “Should coaches at public schools lead prayer?”  Out of the 943 individuals that were polled, 61% said it was wrong.  Thirty-three percent said, yes, it was good for the team.  Three percent said they didn’t care and 1% was undecided.   Interesting that most people were against it but it still goes on.  If I had to guess I would surmise that the majority did not want to offend the minority.  I would also further postulate that they know God really isn’t going to intervene so what harm could it cause. 

Can you imagine the row if God really did intervene? What would be the point of having the match?  God would always pick his favorite team.  It would no longer be a test of skills and tactics.  Sports would be subjective.   Stats would be meaningless.  Athletes would no longer feel the need to practice or workout.  Coaches would no longer have to spend hours watching game films or coming up with clever strategies. 

The entire contest would be a joke.  Instead coaches and athletes would have to come to practice to work on their praying skills instead of their batting skills for example.  Athletes could be gangly four-eyed geeks or fat kids with lasagna stains on their uniforms and peanut butter breath instead of the lean muscular jocks.  Schools would hire clergy to coach their teams instead of someone versed in the finer points of a particular sport.  Then it would be a pissing contest as to who has the best priest, rabbi, or shaman.  In hind sight I guess for once and for all we would finally find out which religion God prefers by the number in the win column.

I like going to sporting events.  When I feel like a lazy afternoon I go and see a baseball game.  When I am felling the need to watch a brawl on a Friday night hockey is my venue.  Whether it is baseball or hockey I am always moved by the national anthem.  There is something to be said for how Francis Scot Key portrayed one of the battles of 1812 from the deck of a ship in those immortal words of his poem which today was put to music in our national anthem.  To this day thousands of people stand at sporting events basking in their nation’s pride as they remember how the Brits tried to lay siege to an American fort but to no avail, as we all sing “and the flag was still there”.  This part of the song always makes me choke back a tear or two.  Oh, how I wish I could write poetry like that.  It is simply beautiful.

However, the basketball team, the New Orleans Hornets has marred this beautiful scene and has added prayer to there opening ceremony.  Simply put this is disgraceful.  Before each and every Hornets game for as long as the team has been in existence, a Christian invocation is done at half court before the national anthem, in which everyone is asked to rise.  I guess now pro teams are starting to take it to the next level by asking for divine intervention not only by getting the team to pray but also the fans too.  If this works then they don’t have spend much on player salaries. God is on their side so they can hire just any old bum to play.

Talk about leaving some fans disenfranchised including me.  This is an insult to all those fans that are not Christian.  Not to mention unpatriotic.  Our nation was founded on the core principle of freedom of religion.  

The whole concept of prayer before a game is really getting out of hand.  One has to see how pointless and silly it really is.  It’s offensive, unpopular and God really has better things to do, don’t you think? Ω TRT

What are your thoughts on this situation?  Please let me know below in the comment section.

3rd Rock From the Sun - Sports Prayers


  1. Good article. I especially liked how it took prayer to its logical conclusion to show how silly it is, at least in the context of coaches praying to win.