The Know-It-All-ism of Modern Sports Fanatics
On Thanksgiving weekend I spent a few days with family and close friends. Because I have long worked retail jobs that required holiday labor, it’s been over ten years since I was able to do this. The last time I sat for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal was prior to me becoming truly saved by God’s grace, and submitting to His wisdom… before my eyes were really opened to how strong Satan’s control is over the world. So this year was different in several ways.
Along with stuffing yourself with food, and giving in to Black Thursday and Friday consumerism, the big draw during that week is watching sports.
The sports were always the main point for me as a boy and young man. I remember making sure to finish my dinner plates before the football started (that was back in the days before noon kickoffs on Turkey Day).
This year was the first year I really took note of how idolatrous sports were, in the lives of people close to me. Of course, I had already admitted my own celebrity worship, and have long been working free of that demonic spirit.
But watching friends and relatives arguing with each other, and with the little uniformed men on the television, was another eye-opener. Even minus the gambling aspect, these games are very important to sports fans on some level.
If you have a favorite team or athlete, it’s important to you, too. A few proofs: Have you ever debated with fans of other teams on sports web sites, calling them morons for opinions? Have you scoffed at anyone’s choice of sports gear? He likes THAT TEAM? You then question that person’s sanity, brains, or both. Has your day or week ever been “ruined” or made better because of a game result? Then you are an idolater.
Sports media fills 24 hours a day with contention and debate, to keep you from thinking about what's really important.
Sometimes I wear clothes representing unpopular teams just to toss people’s minds about. This could prove to be dangerous, as there have been attacks on men and women who dared to sport hats or jerseys in the “wrong” stadium or part of town. This is a sickness. I used to laugh at people who wore team clothes because of the colors; now I’m on the other side.
I’ve looked over my loved ones’ shoulders as they absorbed shows on sports outlets. The hosts of the sports talk forums, take preplanned positions and deliberately try to stir viewers into a frenzy.
I have nothing against these men or their peers for making a living. How-ever!– They are playing a role, just like the cable news hosts, and I laughed when my relatives took sides on which talking head was more intelligent and had the better personality and viewpoints.
Lawless, "Art of Debate"
I used to be like this, too. Sometimes I still feel a tug and want to argue. I want to show off my sports knowledge that I once spent years refining… my awareness of sports history and statistics and strategy… my opinions.
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My mother will tell you of a time when I punched a hole in the wall because my favorite basketball team lost.
Even though I realize that watching sports all the time, and pinning my emotions on what athletes do, are things that don’t necessarily please the Lord, I still enjoy what talented people can do on the field and court. Sports are fine, in their place. But Americans have lifted athletics to a level beyond where they belong. Most people can tell you more about Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant, than about Jesus Christ.
We worship sports. We exalt the elite athlete.
Some many disagree with the preceding two sentences. But if you deny that the sports cult(ure) is simply the worship of other people, you are either a liar or you are blind.
I gave up cable and satellite television a few years after the events of September 11, 2001. Something about the way that those attacks were covered (or covered up?) by major media made me see that our mass communicators were not in business to report the news. They were shaping the news. I realized that it was best to unplug, as best as possible, and try to find alternative sources of information. At the least, I wanted to add those other sources to the CNNs, Fox News, CBSs, and New York Times of the world.
The scary part is that many people are aware, as I am, that those major “news” sources are almost completely co-opted by antichrist agendas. On some level, most adults know that something is horribly wrong with our journalism, politics, business interests, and military leadership. They know that we aren’t being told the truth… yet they continue to swallow what they are fed. They question what they see and walk around with cynical attitudes, but still swim in the muck.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold, says Matthew 24:12. This simply means that when people do wrong and are unpunished (or even rewarded in some way), observers will grow hard-hearted. Look around if you think that’s not true. Look in the mirror. Yet the cynics mock the Bible, and love the world. Why?
Is it simple laziness? Do the entertainment sensations of video games, films, TV, music, and sports really have that much power? Are sports fans just avoiding the changes that would have to take place in their lives if they pushed away from the media teat? Probably a combination.
Sometimes I feel like I’m watching people eat raw sewage, knowing it’s toxic, but… it’s sprinkled with this good-tasting sugar! The pure water from Jesus Christ is so much better.
I’m in the world and trying not to be of it. I can’t help but be eating some of the trash, too. I would like to run into the woods and hide out in a dirt hollow with canned goods and a tommy gun.
But the Bible says we can’t escape that way. We’re meant to fulfill the Great Commission, preaching the good news to every creature. We’re ordered by the Lord to let our light shine in a dark world, no matter how scary that task is.
Sports are seen as the “last level playing field.” This is just another lie from hell. Not that the games are fixed; they may be honestly-contended. The point is not one of whether the best performance is rewarded.
It’s a larger issue than that. The purpose of sports fanaticism, from the top professional levels down to your sons and daughters playing city league, is to keep us from enjoying God’s glory. As long as we are all cheering for what’s going on between the lines, we are ignoring Him. The devil is smarter than you.