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He likely remains neutral to sports

The Baltimore Sun

I watched Orioles outfielder Luke Scott smack a homer and point to the heavens the other night, which tells me God is still having a pretty good year on the playing fields.

Pointing to the heavens is big in sports these days.

Baseball players point to the heavens to thank God when they get a big hit.

Basketball players point when they hit a big shot.

Football players point when they score a touchdown - sometimes they'll even drop to one knee, shooting God a quick bonus thank-you.

I don't watch hockey or tennis, so I'm not so sure how those athletes feel about God and whether game-time thank-yous are necessary.

Boxers, with a few notable exceptions, don't often thank God for helping them beat their opponent to a bloody pulp.

But this is probably because God is known to be all about peace, and might frown on one person punching another's lights out and claiming God had a hand in it.

As for golfers on the PGA Tour, you don't see them pointing up to God very often.

If they're thanking God for anything, it's for Tiger Woods undergoing knee surgery, so someone else can actually win a tournament for a change.

On the other hand, you never hear athletes blaming God when things go wrong, which is probably a good thing.

When a baseball player strikes out with the bases loaded, you never see him look up to the heavens with his arms outstretched as if to say: "God, you're killing me here!"

When an NFL wide receiver drops a pass, you never hear him say in the post-game interview: "I would've made that catch if God hadn't screwed up. He didn't step up for me today."

Some people think all this pointing by the players is a waste of time, because God isn't paying attention to our silly little games.

They feel God is too busy with all the other stuff going on in the world that he has to tend to - your wars, your famines, your natural catastrophes, etc.

Sure, the Orioles might be involved in a tight game with the Yankees, the score tied in extra innings, when players from both teams might be thinking: OK, God, it would be nice if you come through about now.

But if God is tied up with, say, a killer typhoon in Myanmar, is he going to drop everything to help a hitter rope a game-winning double off the wall?

If a massive earthquake in China needs his immediate attention, will he really take the time to help a pitcher drop a knee-buckling curveball to end the game?

Understand, I am not, in any way, suggesting God cannot multitask.

God could probably juggle 20,000 tasks at once, maybe even more.

I'm talking about priorities here, that's all.

You have priorities, I have priorities. Surely God has priorities, too.

And with all the trouble and craziness in the world, you would think helping, say, Kobe Bryant hit the game-winning jump shot would be well down on God's "to-do" list.

Still, not only do a lot of athletes make a point of thanking God for helping them make great plays, sometimes they thank him for helping them win, too.

But is God really up there in the heavens rooting for certain teams to win? Wearing their team jackets and team caps and waving one of those "We're No. 1!" foam fingers?

And if he's rooting for certain teams to win, that means he's rooting for their opponents to lose, right?

Would God really do this?

Does this sound like Godlike behavior to you? Rooting for someone to strike out or fumble or throw up an air-ball?

If anything, I'm guessing God would probably like to see every game end in a tie, so that no one's feelings get hurt.

But since he doesn't make that happen, it might be that God is strictly neutral in all these games.

Orioles vs. Yankees, Ravens vs Steelers, Maryland vs. Duke, God is probably like: whatever.

I'm not saying he's not paying any attention to these games.

I'm just saying he's probably not consumed with who wins, who does well, and so on.

Which is a pretty healthy attitude to have, when you think about it.

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