Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?

Article excerpt

HACKENSACK, N. J. - More than 100 million people will watch the Super Bowl on TV, with another 78,000 packing MetLife Stadium, but will there be another set of eyes looking down on the Meadowlands? Could an Almighty fan be preparing to pull up a lounge chair a week from Sunday, take in the game and orchestrate the outcome? More than 20 percent of Americans believe God has a say in who wins sporting events, according to a survey conducted this month by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Religion and sports, especially football, are deeply connected in American culture. Fans pray for victories, and many believe that players who pray are more likely to win. According to the institute's poll, 48 percent of Americans believe athletes of faith are rewarded with good health and success. That number jumps to 62 and 65 percent when asking white evangelical Protestants and minority Protestants, respectively.

So are the truly faithful rewarded with success on the field?

"It's one of those tricky questions," said former quarterback and current NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner, a devout Christian. "I believe God has your best interest in mind. How that correlates to winning and losing football games, I'm not fully sure."

Warner won and lost a Super Bowl in his 12-year NFL career, during which he played for the Rams, Giants and Cardinals.

"Do I believe that as a son of God that my life is important to him? No question about it," said Warner who was named Most Valuable Player when he led the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl title in 2000. "Where do we draw that line between what's important to him and what's not? I believe it's all important to him. But I don't know how exactly that fits into winning and losing per se."

We put the question to some members of the clergy: Does God care who wins the Super Bowl?

"No," said Rabbi Arthur Weiner of the Jewish Community Center of Paramus Congregation Beth Tikvah. "And it's not a question of God (having) bigger things on his plate. We live in a world where we have a religious understanding that God cares about everything, but the truth is we don't believe that this is the kind of thing God needs to or should be getting involved with. …

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