The First Church of Our Glorious Football

Somewhere I read a list of "new improved state religions" for each of the 50 states. It was done tongue-in-cheek (I think) but it rang true for the listing for Texas, for sure, when it listed "Football". (I will be using a capital "F" when spelling "Football" for obvious reasons.) The book and movie "Friday Night Lights" really drives this point home. Take the time out for one or both. They cover the Football phenomenon in Texas very well.

A few years ago, up in Dallas, the Dallas county commissioner proposed moving the Friday night Football games to Saturday morning in the wake of several incidents of violence after games. Even though these incidents occured away from the field and school property, it was thought this would reduce the chances of violence.

This sparked an uproar, even on the radio here in south Texas, some 200-300 miles from the focus of the controversy. The basic idea on the "anti-change" side was "You can't do that! Friday night Football is a Texas tradition." Taking Football out of Friday nights is even worse than taking God out of the schools. After all, everybody knows that on the 8th day, God created Football. And without Football, we are all doomed to watch T.V. on Friday nights. Have you seen the junk the networks put on Fridays? God meant for us to be at Football games on Fridays, because He in His infinite wisdom knew that NBC stands for Nothing But Crap, ABC stands for Astoudingly Boring Clutter, and CBS stands for Commercials (and) Brainless Stuff.

Like atheists, in Texas if you don't beleive in Football, you are looked on with patronizing sympathy or astounded disbelief. The true beleiver in Football is at the Stadium (Stadium is also capitalized for obvious reasons.) every week, rain or shine, win or lose. They know the prayers by heart. (Go, team, go!) (Get him!) (Block that kick!) and of course (DEEE-FENSE!). The fans fill the home Stadium with overflowing capacity that sometimes threatens to edge the visitors out. But unlike a Church, the worshippers at the Stadium are not interested in attracting visitors, because the visitors are something akin to satanists. They are there to undermine the faithful's attempts to pray to Football to give them victory.

Sometimes the Stadium genuinely rocks physically with the holy rolling of the participants. This is the effect that Football has on some. It turns your average milquetoast accountant into a raving fan. For the best effect of this, you have to go to a Stadium where arch rivals are playing Football against each other. The aforementioned "Friday Night Lights" covers one Odessa-Permian vs. Midland Lee. There are others, including some in the Dallas area which was the instigation of this post.

With definite tongue-in-cheek and a hope that it is taken that way, I end with the following:

"For God so loved the world that He gave them Football, so that whosever believed in It would not be bored, but have Everlasting Victory."

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