Monday, February 06, 2006


I have to admit that football is my favorite sport. I thought as I would get older, the slower sport baseball would take over as my favorite. But from liking baseball, basketball and football equally as a boy growing up, I'd say football has clearly become my favorite.

Dr. Douglas Groothuis over at Culture Watch: Thoughts of a Constructive Curmudgeon has a very interesting take on football, and it's clearly thumbs down (including calling a boycott of the Super Bowl by Christians and churches).

I empathize with Dr. Groothuis' concern about the violence of the game. It can be a head ringer and I cringe along with others when there is a helmet to helmet hit. Dr. Groothuis sees this violent aspect of the game making it unredeemable and therefore a sport Christians should turn their backs on. He has some other arguments to try to show the superiority of baseball over football with some interesting comments attempting to refute him.

I find his arguments as is characteristic of him to be good. Why is it that so many of us Christians, especially men (and not a few women) love some hard hitting and good tackling? As well as a runner averting all of that on his way to the end zone? Is it a sin issue with us? Testosterone like my wife says? I don't know.

I can say I find it hard to get too excited about baseball with the drug issues and increasingly high salaries. Basketball has same salary issue. (Hockey is also violent and a mere penalty is slapped on those who want to slug it out.) And to attend a ballgame in any of the three sports in the big league level is too much moola for most any of us anymore.

I don't know what it is. It must be a cultural thing. Honestly I think football is a great game. I'd probably like it better if it was flag football. But it's a game I truly love. I think aside from the hitting it is simply fun to pass and catch a football, as well as try to run past defenders, or try to stop a runner.

Maybe there is hope for me. I used to really like boxing, but understanding the damage head injury can cause I really don't much care for it anymore. Maybe someday I'll come to see the light and repent and turn to baseball. Actually I'd like to like world football (soccer) over American football. But I guess I'm a person of my time and place.

And we minister to people who likewise are people of their time and place. Not a small number are lovers of football. Are Christians to see football as ungodly? And take a stand against it? First non-Christian football fans need to come to Jesus for salvation, to become his followers. Then maybe he will save them from that sport? Well so far he hasn't saved me from it.

And I have to admit I'll probably sooner than later be looking forward to the Buckeyes' season next autumn. And to keep rooting for the Steelers. Maybe a bit more sheephishly?


Douglas Groothuis said...

Thank you for at least thinking over my arguments without reacting emotionally--as did many.

Boxing is the worst sport ever invented. It is sanctioned beating, utterly bereft of human or artistic value. It would not exist in an unfallen world. At least they have padding in football.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks Dr. Groothuis.