Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Football is a U.S. Religion!
Email Subscription From Dr. Boys | July 21, 2012 | Don Boys, Ph.D.

Posted on 07/23/2012 11:08:31 AM PDT by John Leland 1789

In 1982. famous sports announcer Howard Cosell breathlessly said in his own inimitable way, "The Cowboys are more than a football team in Dallas; they are a religion." He went on to say, "Look at the loyalty of those people! Look at the signs they have made. Truly, the Cowboys are a religion in Dallas."

Cosell was only confirming what Dr. Alan Goldberg of the University of Connecticut said: "Sports [is] like a religion." This is obvious to anyone when even enthusiastic, evangelistic and evangelical religious leaders change their church schedules for athletic purposes! Houston's First Baptist Church announced in June 1994 that their Sunday evening service could be changed "if there is a sixth game between the Rockets and the Knicks." God help us when alleged Bible-preaching churches are so fanatical about secular things such as sports.

Football, yea most U.S. sports, has become a religion to many Americans. The “denominations” are the various professional and college leagues. The coaches are the pastors/priests and their associated coaches are the associate pastors. I suppose some would say there is even a pope representative in the football commissioner. They often play on Sundays and money is a major concern. (Although no one ever says, “Those sports’ teams are only interested in money. Every time I go there they charge huge parking fees, massive entrance fees, and gouge me for a hotdog and drink. What a racket!”)

Recently a major tragedy was played out when one of the major “priests/pastors” was discovered to be guilty of sexual child abuse. Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State Assistant Football Coach, was recently convicted on 45 counts of sex abuse involving at least 10 boys over a fifteen year period.

Furthermore, his immediate boss, legendary Hall of Famer Joe Paterno (recently deceased before the hangman could grab him), along with the university president (fired as president but still teaching there!), the athletic director, and university vice president “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade” according to a just-released report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh. They all knew a homosexual predator was living among them but looked the other way!

Someone should have fingered Sandusky thereby protecting an unknown number of innocent boys. There were more red flags there than are displayed every May 1 in Red Square. Penn State Assistant Coach Mike McQueary admitted that he observed Sandusky raping a boy in the locker room in 2001. He did nothing. Well, maybe the 28 year old husky former football player at Penn State clinched his fists and even held his breath but the coward did nothing to help the boy. I wonder how well he has been sleeping the past decade.

When Paterno, who was considered the king (or maybe cardinal of college football), was fired for his part in the cover-up, the “congregants” rioted in protest. Sport’s enthusiasts are very dedicated fanatics. Paterno was considered the most ethical coach in college football but by keeping silent and permitting an underling to sodomize boys, he proved to be a coward. No one spoke to Sandusky to even suggest that he might stop bringing boys to the campus for sessions of sodomy!

Why did Paterno or one of the other three high level men not drop by Sandusky’s office (very close to Paterno’s) and say, “Hey Jerry, it would be better if you did your sodomy off campus.”

I have not read one report that applies the word “homosexual” to the horrendous assaults upon innocent boys. We have been told that, in fact, there is no link between homosexuality and pedophilia! But no sane person believes that. It’s sure a crazy world out there.

There will always be creeps (perverts) like Sandusky but university leaders are supposed to be men of education, sophistication, character, convictions, honor, and decency who also should have concern for the young, innocent, and helpless.

But this is an old story, a story of fallen men who put reputation, salary, perks, popularity, friends, family, and job ahead of duty, honor, and truth. They stifle their shame, subdue their honor, courage, convictions, and live with guilt and shame for a lifetime. In 1999 Paterno promised Sandusky he could coach as long as he wanted even knowing Sandusky was being investigated over a 1998 sodomy incident!

This column title suggests that the football culture is religion and we see parallels with the cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church when some of the highest U.S. religious leaders dawdled, dallied, and delayed while thousands of boys were sodomized by “men of the cloth.” I don’t think the Catholic Church will ever recover–and maybe it shouldn’t.

Alas, the same is true with my own crowd: fundamental Baptists! There have been many cases but one that I am privy to is the Bob Gray case of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Bob was an acquaintance of mine who had been very gracious, generous, kind, and helpful to me and my work but Bob admitted sexually abusing many little girls in his church office.

The abuse became known to church leaders and they did exactly what the top honchos at Penn State did: stammer, stall, and stonewall. After all, “we can handle it and keep more innocent people from getting hurt.” Or, “Yes, this is terrible but we must be concerned how this will impact our ministry.” Or, “Since we didn’t actually see anything, maybe we can ship our pastor off to Germany as a foreign missionary.” I don’t suppose the thought occurred that there are little girls in Germany. Like Paterno, they paid him to go and like Paterno, Gray beat the hangman to the grave before trial.

Sounds judgmental and self-righteous but I’m often ashamed to be part of the human race and occasionally ashamed to be a Baptist. However, I would rather be a lapsed Baptist than a religious sports fanatic!

Copyright 2012, Don Boys, Ph.D.

(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 14 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Three years ago, the second edition of ISLAM: America's Trojan Horse! was published, and his new eBook, The God Haters is available for $9.99 from www.thegodhaters.com. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations. His other websites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture; Worship
KEYWORDS: boys; chat; football; misc; religion

1 posted on 07/23/2012 11:08:36 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789

Football’s just a sport.

Lacrosse is a religion!


2 posted on 07/23/2012 11:19:44 AM PDT by gotribe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789

“The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance.”

Robert A. Heinlein


3 posted on 07/23/2012 11:24:26 AM PDT by Daveinyork
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gotribe

I’m not a fan of either.

I prefer baseball.

Go Tigers


4 posted on 07/23/2012 11:24:44 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789

And Bear Bryant is it’s pope


5 posted on 07/23/2012 11:29:15 AM PDT by jrg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jrg

Can we make Steve Spurrier a Cardinal?


6 posted on 07/23/2012 11:30:27 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Daveinyork

A most profound and wise statement.

Don’t leave out all the acolytes and varying level of local priests in freelance sports video production. If you are not in the circle, you are nothing no matter what.


7 posted on 07/23/2012 11:38:18 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Daveinyork

A most profound and wise statement.

Don’t leave out all the acolytes and varying level of local priests in freelance sports video production. If you are not in the circle, you are nothing no matter what.


8 posted on 07/23/2012 11:38:32 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: jrg

And Bear Bryant played second fiddle to Adolph Rupp. Nothing, not even Alabama football, matches the insanity of Kentucky basketball. The attention and hero worship in Lexington comes close to being creepy.


9 posted on 07/23/2012 11:39:35 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

I’d throw in Carolina (USC) baseball.


10 posted on 07/23/2012 11:47:20 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789

If it is indeed a religion, then PSU should be excommunicated from the flock.


11 posted on 07/23/2012 11:49:08 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

And Cathlics should just be admonished by the general population for the disaster that they had the last 40 years or longer. It is amazing that they are blaming the players for this but they are not blaming the parishoners of the Catholic Church. Close every Catholic Church should be the motto from the Penn State haters. Oh I am Catholic but also from Pennsylvania and I think you guys are INSANE!!!!


12 posted on 07/23/2012 11:55:59 AM PDT by napscoordinator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789
From his perch atop Bovard Auditorium at the the University of Southern California, John Wesley, founder of Methodism, signals "first down."


13 posted on 07/23/2012 12:01:13 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789

Naaah, really?

14 posted on 07/23/2012 12:05:07 PM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: napscoordinator

I don’t have a particular bent against Catholics in this shameful, apparently long lived coverup (according to Louis Freeh). I contrarily blame the entire football culture of this university. No, we aren’t INSANE - the insane person was the serial pedophile, aided by his oblivious wife, his oblivious coach and administration and that ‘fans’ that stood vigil near the statue to protect the memory of a coach that put program over morality. Is that plain enough INSANE for you?


15 posted on 07/23/2012 12:06:25 PM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

Well Football is important to a college. Heck I went to Florida State and SHOULD be thrilled with this result. I am also a weekly practicing Catholic...But I am also from Pennsylvania so I feel personally involved in this story. I guess my overall probably with the story is that the CURRENT football team is getting screwed for doing NOTHING! It just seems too liberal to me to get rid of football at Penn State because of a few bad apples. I guess you guys love it when the government gets involved because of a few bad apples. I guess we should get rid of all guns because a crazy guy shot up a movie theater....I put this in the same category.


16 posted on 07/23/2012 12:17:14 PM PDT by napscoordinator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: napscoordinator

This isn’t “government” getting rid of punishing PSU football. It is an organization whose rules and regulations and doctrine PSU signed up for. I don’t care if you’re from Penn, or if you’re even a Catholic. The only reason I used the word “excommunicate” was in response to the post I replied to, and that was marginally relevant, Catholic-wise.

Yes, the team, the students and the Univeristy are being screwed, in your words, for doing exactly that - nothing.

Further, your relationship of this years-long collusion with the Aurora disaster is a stretch of the imagination and specious.


17 posted on 07/23/2012 12:23:26 PM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789
At USC, Howard Jones, John McKay and Marv Goux are saints and our early mascot George Tirebiter, a dog killed while chasing a car, is our martyr. Fight on! and Tusk are hymns, and Conquest (played after each score as the the horse runs around the field) and Galop, aka Cavalry Charge, from Gioacchino Antonio Rossini's William Tell Overture (played at the start of the fourth quarter) are among our anthems.
18 posted on 07/23/2012 12:24:08 PM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
Can we make Steve Spurrier a Cardinal?

Second.

19 posted on 07/23/2012 12:29:51 PM PDT by Gamecock (We don't come to Christ to be born again; rather, we are born again in order to come to Christ. RCS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Heh heh, I catch grief from some Gators because I still worship Spurrier. But as I point out, if it wasn’t for Spurrier, Urban Meyer doesn’t win those two championships, the Gators had 0 SEC titles before Spurrier came there....he built it (of course Obama would disagree), into what it is today. Even Billy Donovan admits that having Spurrier at UF when he started coaching the basketball team helped a lot for him to build his program into an elite basketball program.


20 posted on 07/23/2012 12:33:42 PM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: wally_bert
I’d throw in Carolina (USC) baseball.

Now we're talking~

21 posted on 07/23/2012 12:37:05 PM PDT by Gamecock (We don't come to Christ to be born again; rather, we are born again in order to come to Christ. RCS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Grumble......still scratching my head as to how we went completely brain dead in Omaha, I really thought going in this was our year.


22 posted on 07/23/2012 12:44:14 PM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: wally_bert

“A most profound and wise statement.”

Many of Heinlein’s quotes are profound and wise, particularly this one:

“Women will forgive anything. Otherwise, the race would have died out long ago.”


23 posted on 07/23/2012 1:19:08 PM PDT by Daveinyork
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

On a different topic...what do you do for a living? Your writing skills are very very good.


24 posted on 07/23/2012 1:42:37 PM PDT by napscoordinator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: gotribe

Team sports, war, and religion are different things but are far more closely related than many people realize. Team sports are really practice tribal warfare, not just for the players but for the spectators as well. Religion provides a strong competitive advantage in both sports and war. Many lessons learned in one field transfer to the others. All three are deeply woven into our DNA and culture going back hundreds of thousands of years.


25 posted on 07/23/2012 2:03:01 PM PDT by Reeses (Sustainable energy? Let's first have sustainable government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Reeses

General Patton said it best:

“Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle....When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time.”


26 posted on 07/23/2012 2:06:27 PM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: napscoordinator

What happened at Penn State is not unique. The schools have many bush-league Jerry Sandusky’s.


27 posted on 07/23/2012 3:12:22 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789
The abuse became known to church leaders and they did exactly what the top honchos at Penn State did: stammer, stall, and stonewall. After all, “we can handle it and keep more innocent people from getting hurt.” Or, “Yes, this is terrible but we must be concerned how this will impact our ministry.” Or, “Since we didn’t actually see anything, maybe we can ship our pastor off to Germany as a foreign missionary.” I don’t suppose the thought occurred that there are little girls in Germany. Like Paterno, they paid him to go and like Paterno, Gray beat the hangman to the grave before trial.

When the institution elevates itself over the innocent, this is the result. Be it the Church, the University, or the Company, when something becomes To Big to Fail, you have to ask is it to big to be allowed to exist.

I have seen many scoundrels defend their misdeeds saying they were only trying to protect their intuition's name. That is why I don't follow sports like I used to, and mistrust a great many I meet in church work. To many snakes looking for cover.

28 posted on 07/23/2012 3:50:28 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John Leland 1789

I have not read one report that applies the word “homosexual” to the horrendous assaults upon innocent boys. We have been told that, in fact, there is no link between homosexuality and pedophilia! But no sane person believes that. It’s sure a crazy world out there.

There will always be creeps (perverts) like Sandusky but university leaders are supposed to be men of education, sophistication, character, convictions, honor, and decency who also should have concern for the young, innocent, and helpless.


sophistication, character, convictions, honor, and decency?
I always thought that was something that you got at home while growing up.

And they are the ones telling us that there is no link between homosexuality and pedophilia!

That should tell any one not to waste money sending their young men and women to college unless they are smart enough to pour sand out of their boots.


29 posted on 07/24/2012 1:15:53 PM PDT by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson