(Is the NFL finally ready for a Middle-Eastern superstar?)
By Matt Saccaro
According to a survey released yesterday by the Public Religion Research Institute, half of American sports fans believe that “God or a supernatural force is at play in the games they watch,” including a full 19% who believe that God is directly involved with determining which teams win and lose. In other words, there are about 26 million people in this country who are convinced that the most important figure on Super Bowl Sunday won’t be Peyton Manning or Russell Wilson, but the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is fucking insane.
God — if there is such a thing —doesn’t have a thing to do with the Super Bowl. Not the Christian God, not the Hebrew God, not Allah, not Zoroaster, and not even Haile fucking Selassie himself have a single thing to do with a sporting event that only one country on Earth cares about. The Super Bowl is as irrelevant outside the United States as the Premier League is inside the United States.
Maybe we’re being too hard on religious Americans. Maybe their exceptionalist, ethnocentric attitudes have convinced them Jesus is American. And if that’s the case, then clearly God MUST care about the Super Bowl since it means so much to so many in this country.
If you really believe God is omnipotent and benevolent, answer a question for us: Why does God’s plan for the human race include football?
Does football exist as a means to clothe impoverished African children with the garb of defeated playoff teams? Is that part of the plan? Seems a rather roundabout solution to the third world’s woes. God could just eliminate the poverty in those parts of the world, but then the Almighty would be too busy to watch the Super Bowl commercials. So I guess, to him (or HER — mindfuck!), the trade-off between African destitution and ads that get less funny every year and cost more money than some nations make was worthwhile. To God, it’s also important that Americans consume 1.23 billion chicken wings (over 100 million pounds of poultry) on their special day while Ukraine tears itself apart and global warming threatens to drown us all in our own shit.
But God doesn’t care about all that unimportant stuff like human life and geopolitical unrest. God cares about touchdown passes and the reputations of NFL franchises. The deity that could wipe out world hunger and end diseases with a flick of a finger instead chooses to make kickers botch field goals, and all because enough Jesus-loving Americans prayed for it. Clearly, God’s top priority is determining which group of 53 millionaires will defeat the other group of 53 millionaires. Everything else is just minutiae.
If the study is right, half of everyone who reads this article will believe that God has at least some impact on the Super Bowl. If you’re one of these people, please consider the above paragraphs for 30 seconds. If they don’t make you reconsider your entire belief system — the notion that the MASTER AND CREATOR OF EXISTENCE ITSELF cares about a FOOTBALL GAME while the world is full of injustice, misery, and brutality — you’re dumber than the people who designed Windows 8. Now enjoy this fucking infographic.
(Image courtesy of Public Religion Research Institute. Click for full-size version.)