Monday, February 04, 2013

The Super Bowl & the Spoils of Victory

Mercifully, Ray Lewis long ago dropped off my radar.  After his shady plea bargain deal where he admitted conspiracy and obstruction that let him off a double murder charge, I thought he deserved to just fade away.  And, unless you were a Ravens fan (which I am not, even though Joe Flacco is a graduate of my high school alma mater in NJ), that's exactly what he did. 

Oh, but now he's back.  The Ravens won the Super Bowl!!!!!  Congratulations Baltimore…I think.  Because now we are treated to a revolting parade of Ray Lewis, prancing and preening, spouting his obnoxious infantile nonsense about leadership, perseverance, morality  and God. 

You see, in the eyes of Ray Lewis, the reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl is because God is a huuuge Ray Lewis fan.  Evidently, Ray Lewis found religion.  Or rather, God and religion finally caught up with Ray Lewis and his awesomeness.   

Since I've gotten up this morning, I've seen Ray Lewis interviewed on three different channels (mis)quoting St Paul and Romans…."If God be for you, who can be against you."  Too bad San Francisco.  New England.  Denver.  God's just not that into you.

There he was at breakfast on the morning shows.  Again later when I went to the gym in the locker room.  On the treadmill on the big screen.  Again in the locker room after the tread mill.  And then, the hyper ventilating talk jocks shouting back and forth about the blown calls, the blown lights, the blown opportunities, and poor Ray Lewis!  How he was being soooo unfairly treated in the media for his spirituality and how he's turned his life around!

OK, wait a minute guys.  Breathe into a paper bag for a few.  What Ray Lewis is spouting has nothing whatsoever to do with spirituality.  Or with God.  As far as being unfairly treated…I wonder how the families of the murdered young men feel about how unfairly Ray Lewis has been treated in the media, the NFL, and by life in general while his career never missed a beat during the years since they buried their sons?  

No, if anyone is being unfairly treated here, it's God.   It's those who struggle with real spiritual issues like those grieving families. 

Ray Lewis, and his inane posturing cheapens and grossly demeans genuine spirituality and faith. Despite Ray Lewis delusional perspective, God's goals and the goals of an NFL football team really have nothing to do with each other. 

Despite what is often popular perception; a football game, a baseball game, basketball game, bowling, bocce, you name it; are not mini morality plays where God doles out favor.  In fact, I hate to break it to you, but I think God was watching Downton Abbey last night.  Especially while the lights were out.  Anyway…

Just to be clear, if you want to find God in sporting events, God's there.  Just not where Ray Lewis thinks.

Ignore the buffoon trotting around the bases pointing to the sky.  Watch the pitcher who just watched his pitch sail into the seats.   

Forget the purple confetti and the trophy, the locker room with the champagne soaking everything.  Head over to the other locker room where you can hear the showers dripping. Where cameras and questions seem a tasteless intrusion.  Where adults sit and stare at the wall. 

You see, that's what Paul was actually writing about in Romans, when he said, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" 

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