In the beginning, was God. And sports was with God, and sports was God.
Then, out of the muck and mire, God created man, and gave man authority to name all the beasts of the field, the flying things and the creeping things, and it was good.
After God created man, He created the Athlete. Replete with a hefty amount of arrogance and an innate ability to point toward heaven whenever something of significance happened, the athlete flourished throughout the whole earth. The Lord was so impressed He cracked a smile and said to no one in particular “It’s all good.”
But, being God, He wanted more…
So God created ESPN and He saw that it was all good all the time.
So good in fact that God said “Let there be professional bowlers wearing slacks with elastic waistbands and hunters in flourescent hats. Let there be Texas Hold ‘em players with protruding bellies and thick accents…”
And so God brought forth ESPN2.
He saw that it was good and thought it might be fun to watch soccer…constantly.
And so He brought forth ESPN Deportes.
Then God sat back and surveyed all that He had wrought. He watched unceasingly and said “This isn’t just good, this is GREAT!”
Then God realized that as crazy as he was about sports, the players and spectators were even crazier about Him. They thanked Him when they won. They blessed themselves when they approached the batters box. They pointed to the sky after sinking a putt.
God was pleased. So pleased that he granted ESPN an exclusive Sunday Conversation…
ESPN: God, we are so honored you agreed to this interview? We are such fans…
God: Oh no, please, now you’re embarrassing me! I’m such a fan of what you do. I’m just thrilled to be here!
ESPN: Tell me, how do you figure out which athletes or teams to root for?
God: I’m just such a sports fanatic that I can be rooting for any guy at any moment, and
then I can abruptly switch for no real reason. I mean, one moment I’m helping a wide receiver score a big touchdown that changes the momentum in a game and the next minute I’m helping a free safety hit that same wide receiver so hard his unborn children feel it.
ESPN: How do You even go about deciding who You’re going to side with?
God: Well, it comes down to two things honestly. First, I have to take into consideration if anyone’s mother, father, brother, sister, friend, uncle, dog or next door neighbor has died that week. If they have, that pretty much equals a victory, I pretty much owe it to them. Secondly, it always helps to wear a cross or a crucifix around your neck. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t care what you’re up to off the field, as long as you wear a cross. Bonus points if you have a cross/crucifix tattoo, I love those.
ESPN: Do You go for teams with holy names like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the New Orleans Saints?
God: Well, considering the history of the Saints franchise, I hope you can figure that out for yourself. No, I don’t really care about the name of the team. I mean, I helped the New Jersey Devils win a Stanley Cup, and I’m a huge Duke Blue Devils fan. I DO get a charge out of the biblical names, though. If you’re named Moses or Elijah, or if you’re from Latin America and my name is involved anywhere in your name (i.e. Jesus Sanchez or Carlos de Jesus) I’m going to do my best to make sure you do well. I’ve got a rep to protect.
ESPN: What are your favorite teams?
God: I can’t tell you who My favorite teams are, that wouldn’t be fair. That would take all the mystery out of it…and I know how much you people love mystery. It would be like Cher explaining why people keep buying her music. Heck, I don’t even know the answer to that one, and I’m God.
ESPN: What about any particular positions, do you favor wide receivers over cornerbacks or anything like that?
God: Nope, no favorites. I will confess though that I get a perverse little thrill out of messing with place kickers. Every chance I get to embarrass them I go for it. I especially love to wait until a really crucial time to mess with them, like during the Super Bowl or the last 10 seconds of a playoff game, man I love that.
God: What can I tell you, I get a kick out of it.
God: (chuckling) Thanks, man.
ESPN: Okay, last question. What do you think about all those people who hold up John 3:16 signs at sporting events?
God: Oh, I love it. There’s no better time to convert someone than when they’re sitting at home trying to watch Brett Favre throw a pass or Alex Rodriguez hit a home run. It’s pure genius. They can preach without ever having to actually talk to another human, this way they don’t have to answer their questions or listen to their problems. People holding up random signs is a great way to show humanity my love. Maybe I should have just held up a sign from heaven 2,000 years ago instead of going through the whole crucifixion deal. Jesus! Why didn’t I think of that?
ESPN: Geez, don’t you think that’s kinda harsh?
God: Dude, I’ve got a sign for ‘em LIGHTEN UP, IT’S A GAME!