Study: One Out Of Four Sports Fans Believe God Chooses Winners In Sporting Events

350px-God2-Sistine_ChapelThere is an interesting phenomenon that occurred after the Patriots pulled ahead of the Colts in their championship game: the price of Superbowl tickets reportedly fell significantly. People it appears are just not excited about seeing the Patriots play in another Superbowl. However, many people see more than a dominant team or deflated footballs are the reason for who plays in the Superbowl. A recent study found that one out of four Americans believe that God helps choose who wins sporting events. I personally find this hard to accept since the Chicago Bears remains God’s chosen team and yet they remain again out of the Superbowl. However, over twenty-five percent of people believe that they are watching the hand of God in the outcome of sporting events.

The student by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute also found that 53 percent of Americans and 56 percent of self-described sports fans believe that athletes with faith in God are rewarded with good health and success. That does not quite explain Tim Tebow’s career unless Saturday Night Live explained the limits of God’s grace:

Some 26 percent of Americans (27 percent of sports fans) agree with SNL that God puts a thumb on the scale at games to favor those in his favor. That is a pretty frightening thought when Kurt Busch comes to mind.

52 thoughts on “Study: One Out Of Four Sports Fans Believe God Chooses Winners In Sporting Events”

  1. Nick – I rather like the thought of a single, unifying language that would be taught internationally. Latin would be a good choice. Since it is a “dead” language, it would not give any current country “preferential treatment”. Or we could have a modern day Tolkein just invent a new one.

    1. Karen S.

      Esperanto was an attempt at a unifying language but its adoption only went so far. It is Eurocentric though.

  2. Karen, I got to know one of the few Latin teachers in Wisconsin. This was back in the 90’s. He was in his 80’s, and probably dead now. He taught a class from the high school I worked. The class was broadcast to ~5 other high schools because they could not find a Latin teacher. A superb teacher, who had a great sense of humor.

    1. Nick – I hated my Latin teacher. When I broke my right wrist (I am right handed) he made me learn to write left handed so I could turn in his f**king Latin assignments. And he had a habit of regularly hitting us with the board pointer. I passed only because the kid next to me wrote big and kept his elbows out of the way. 😉

  3. I’m pretty sure it is me and my husband who determine who wins the Superbowl and other type of events. We rarely watch sports but when we do and randomly pick a team to root for…….they always lose.

    We must have some sort of supernatural ability to curse the team or unwittingly have the ability to pick the loser every time.

    So….if you guys want to place bets on the Superbowl….we haven’t decided yet….I’ll let you know who we have cursed.

  4. How interesting. It reminds me of the Puritan belief system. One was not to openly pursue money, but if you were wealthy, it was a sign that you were favored by God. A “charmed life” was a reward from God. If you were poor, you were out of His favor. They eschewed the elaborate, highly decorative clothing of the times in England for simple, austere dress. They also despised the ornate Catholic Churches. There were definitely paradoxes in the religion.

  5. I played football @ a Catholic High School. Our Jesuit principal would say a prayer before every game. It was simple and righteous. The prayer was that we play our best, and that no one on the field, from either team, get seriously injured. He taught us that God does no give a rat’s ass who wins, and apparently doesn’t care about minor injuries.

  6. This reminds me of the old lady on the airplane reading the Bible. The man seated next to her in a Bear’s jersey sneeringly said to her; “you don’t really believe everything in the Bible is true, do you?” She replies; “I sure do.” He says: “you really believe God had Jonah swallowed by a whale and then after 3 days spit him out alive?” “Well of course, young man; God is an all-powerful and loving God. When I get to heaven, I’ll see Jonah and ask him if he really was inside a big fish.” To which the man laughed and said, “what if Jonah isn’t there?” She got a great big grin on her face and said, “well then you ask him!”

  7. I like the comments here almost as much as Professor Turley. When I read both I have all the info I need to make a point.

    Pogo hears a who confirmed what I had always suspected about the evolution of religion.

  8. This all can be cleared up with a phone call to the Big Guy. The number: et cum spiri two two oh.

  9. I am astonished how much “magical thinking” there is among the population. Do cars go down the road because of gasoline explosions in the cylinders, or because God pushes them along?

    I would hope that God would have better things to do than worry about sporting events.

    1. Jay S – I first read your sentence as “I hope to God He has more to do they worry about football games.” 🙂

  10. The transition from a pantheon of gods to one big one was, perhaps the most important unifying move in Western civilization. One bid god with one main guy or gal on earth to rule is a great tactical move when conquering countries.

    However, in the sports world we need to reinstate the Greek Pantheon of gods. Each team can get to pick a god, kind of like in a draft. Then it will all make sense. Athena, Zeus, Bacchus, etc. This would be the greatest sports promotional move in history. Billy Bean will have to become a god formally.

    This might put some of the credibility back into monotheism and god and Jesus and that stuff. There can’t be something that is more denigrating to religion than some millionaire athlete praying in order to score. I know I have prayed that I could get in this or that girl’s pants when I was younger but that was just a figure of speech. These guys really think that in this world with all that’s going on, the guy or gal supposedly in charge will pay attention to a bunch of guys running around chasing a ball. If anything supports my understanding of religion and the human condition it is that. If I pray real hard will I win the lottery. If I win the lottery, I will start believing again. If I don’t win the lottery, I am not praying for at least a week. I better win the lottery or that’s it.

  11. God did it with Jonah

    Jonah 1:7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

  12. God is a Green Bay Packers fan. He watches the games with St. Vincent. Heck, the Pack once had a coach named Dan Devine, so that’s clear proof

    God likes the Bears (and the Cubs) only because they make Him laugh.

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