Despite divisions and opinions, sports and religion are commonly linked

Travis Kriens

I have found out that there are two things that you don’t discuss with friends: politics and religion. Especially if you disagree.

In both cases, people seem to be deeply rooted in their beliefs. They sometimes refuse to admit they are wrong when presented facts that go against their thoughts, even to a fault that makes them seem irrational.

Take rookie receiver Randall Cobb of the Packers. He returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against the Saints. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was not a fan of Cobb’s decision to bring the kick out from eight yards deep in the end zone, but the reasoning that he gave was unique.

“I was just trusting in God,” Cobb said. “He told me to bring it out. I’m not supposed to bring that out. Some things are logical and some things are just the power of God.”

You see athletes give credit to God a lot for of their success and that is up to them. It has been used so often that it is right up there with “one game at a time” and “it was a total team effort” as tired old cliches.

If Cobb had gotten tackled at the 10 yard line instead of returning it for a touchdown would he have blamed God for telling him to return it? I doubt it. I haven’t even seen “the devil made me do it” card be played either when a mistake is made.

Plus, Cobb was playing the Saints. If God wanted any NFL team to win you would think it would be the Saints. Maybe he was telling Cobb to return it so that it would favor the Saints and it backfired.

The one player that did blame God for his failure was Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson who dropped a game winning touchdown against the Steelers last season.

He tweeted, “I praise you 24/7 !!!!! and this how you do me!!!!! You expect me to learn from this??? How???!!! I’ll never forget this!! Ever!!! Thx tho…”

I love this because if you thank him for the good, you must call him out for the bad. Just don’t act like it is a one way street where he can do no wrong.

I just wish that athletes gave more credit to themselves for doing what they do. Maybe some view it as a PR move, but I want to see more athletes pull a Carmelo Anthony and thank themselves for putting in the hard work like he did.

There are some connections between sports and religion that intertwine the two.

In football, a desperation pass at the end of a game is called a Hail Mary.

What besides sports and religion do large groups of people come together for a common cause on a weekly basis?

People look to religion when times are tough and sports are used as a rallying cry for a community when times are tough. As much as the stories are worn out, look at the Saints post Hurricane Katrina or New York sports post 9/11.

If both teams pray before a game, one team usually loses and the other one wins. Does this mean that God has a bias? What happens when the game ends in a tie? Is it that God couldn’t decide who should win?

My religious beliefs probably don’t jive with yours, but I consider it a little arrogant to pray before a sporting event in favor of your team or your teammates doing well. If there is a God, I would think he has more important things to do than assist you in your game of choice.