The Church of the NFL

Football is entertainment.

Football is also religion.

We give our “tithes” every Sunday at the local (sports bar) church. We fix our eyes on the preachers (players) giving the sermon. We give due reverence to the father (Roger Goodell). We (fans) are sheep who are devoted to our religion (team). Church congregation growth numbers (ratings) are touted as progress.

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Football is entertainment. Football is religion. But football is also a violent sport.

The hot topic this morning in the Twitterverse was the above audio of former New Orleans Saints’ coordinator, Gregg Williams. The audio was recorded prior to the Saints’ 2011 playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers. It comes after the NFL notified the Saints to cease theirbounty program“.

But in football, money talks. The more a team wins, the more money comes in. The better a player plays, the more money on his next contract. The more entertaining a game is, the higher the ratings which translates into more money for the league.

Money. Football. 

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When someone in religion or Christian faith falls to any type of scandal, the outrage is loud and boisterous. Yet, there’s always a small segment of supporters to stand by their side. Scorn is heaped upon the person and their supporters. How could you support someone like that?

And here in the religion of football, with a scandal of unseen proportions, there are those who will stand by much of what Gregg Williams said. Outsiders simply don’t understand. He didn’t mean what he said. He’s just a man coaching football. The Saints won the Super Bowl. They helped New Orleans heal. How can you not support someone like that?

 

Money. Religion.

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It’s the church of football. I am a member of that church. I “blindly” follow the games. I subscribe to its culture. I was raised in sports. Football is part of my “belief system”. Those who oppose “my team” are wrong. Their “belief system” is wrong. I believe that my team does things the right way. My passion for them knows no bounds.

How can I say all this? “My” team is the Oakland Raiders. A team that is notorious for ‘over-the-line’ play. It is a team from the place of my birth. They are part of my identity. How can I ever turn my back on them? Despite the misdeeds (sins) of the Raiders and even the Saints (and probably other teams too), I can’t turn my back on a sport I love.

There are others like me. They either go to “my” church (Raiders) or another church but hold the same “belief system” (other teams). We all share a common goal of sorts; to see ‘our’ respective team to the ‘promised land’. We try to “convert” others but we do it with trash talk. Perhaps that’s our dogma.

Gregg Williams’ speech is an extremist view of “trash talk”. That is his dogma…the Saints’ dogma as well. The NFL’s dogma, as told through their disciples (broadcast partners) via highlights…hits sell. 

And if the hits sell, it’s all about the money.

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CadChica Sports

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