There is significant evidence that God is choosing sides on the field of sports. If anyone has watched the Colorado Rockies play this season, you're aware of their Phoenix-like impression, rising from the ashes in the second half of the season. How could they do this without some help from on high? They've won 18 of their last 19 games. They defeated the National League's top Cy Young candidate, Jake Peavy, in a do-or-die, playoff tiebreaker to claim the NL wildcard. They've swept the Philadelphia Phillies, even though Matt Holliday still hasn't touched home plate. They dominated last year's Cy Young winner, Brandon Webb to take a 1-0 lead in the NLCS. God is certainly at work here. Consider this, from a USA Today column printed in June,
No copies of Playboy or Penthouse are in the clubhouse of baseball's Colorado Rockies. There's not even a Maxim. The only reading materials are daily newspapers, sports and car magazines and the Bible.And this from Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort,
Music filled with obscenities, wildly popular with youth today and in many other clubhouses, is not played. A player will curse occasionally but usually in hushed tones. Quotes from Scripture are posted in the weight room. Chapel service is packed on Sundays. Prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday are well-attended. It's not unusual for the front office executives to pray together.
On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.
"We started to go after character six or seven years ago, but we didn't follow that like we should have," he says. "I don't want to offend anyone, but I think character-wise we're stronger than anyone in baseball. Christians, and what they've endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. I believe God sends signs, and we're seeing those."Finally this from General Manager Dan O'Dowd, quoted October 12th, in the Independent, "You look at some of the moves we made and didn't make...You look at some of the games we're winning. Those aren't just a coincidence. God has definitely had a hand in this."
If this doesn't convince you that God is trying his hand at sports, then turn your attention to the NFL, specifically the NFC North , where the Detroit Lions sit at 3-2, having defeated the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears two weeks ago (that alone is evidence of divine intervention). They did lose to the Washington Redskins last week, however. Upon further review, though, this isn't a huge surprise, considering the Redskins head coach is Joe Gibbs. His website offers a Joe Gibbs bible and "Joe's weekly spiritual gameplan" via email. So, if I'm a Detroit Lions fan, it is not a big surprise that the 3-1 Washington Redskins, would hand me a loss. After all, God has got to love Joe Gibbs' website. Maybe he's a better Christian, even?
But God must love the Detroit Lions too. Their leader, Jon Kitna has turned his life around from being a shoplifting, drunk, "womanizing," QB at Central Washington University to a born-again Christian who blasts Christian rock in the his NFL locker room and leads teammates to Christ. Apparently 20 of his Detroit teammates have become Christians since his signing with the team. You think that might get a little wink from God?
To top it all off, in case you haven't heard, on September 16th, against the Vikings, Kitna was knocked out of the game with a concussion only to return and lead his team to a 20-17 victory. He called it a miracle, "I've never felt anything like that, and for it to clear up and go right back to as normal as I can be, is nothing short of a miracle," Kitna said. "I just definitely feel the hand of God. That's all it was. You can't explain it."
Well, I'm convinced, God is picking teams: Rockies, Lions and Redskins. Any thoughts on which NBA team he'll pick? I'm praying for the Celtics.
UPDATE (11-16-07): By the way, this post is facetious.