How to pick a winner?

Hopelessly – I am a Detroit Lions fan! When I moved to Tecumseh in 1998 I discovered that many of our Windsor-Essex friends cheered for the Lions. Having been a CFL fan, I had not watched a lot of NFL football – so cheering for the ‘local’ team made sense. So I bought the hat, went to a few games and … Presto – I now cheer for a perennial loser!

So when Super Bowl rolls around each year, like a Leaf fan during the Stanley Cup final, I have to choose a team to cheer for. I become an uninvested spectator (Did I mention – just like a Leaf fan during the Stanley Cup Final?) This year was no different. I thought I might get to be invested in the Super Bowl when the Pats seemed to be marching down the field toward another championship, (on the few occasions before I moved to Windsor-Essex that I watched NFL football, I liked the Patriots – their uniforms are much like my beloved Allouettes) but my hopes were dashed by Ray Lewis and the Ravens. Uninvested as I was I cheered for the 49ers.

So how did I pick who to cheer for last week? Here is the short list;

  • If you ask me, I say A Raven is a lot like a crow — I loath crows! 

  • The Ravens took out the one team I might actually feel some excitement about.

  • Jim Harbaugh is the younger brother – youngest brothers are best

  • John Harbaugh is the older brother – see previous point

  • I own an autographed Joe Montana print!  Joe was great!

  • Canada joined Newfoundland in 1949. (This may not seem obvious at first – think about it for a while) 

  • The number one reason why I picked the 49ers is Ray Lewis’ special pack with Jesus.

That’s right – Mr. Lewis had his team-mates believing that Jesus had ordained that the Ravens (large crows) were to win the Super Bowl. Why? Because he ‘loved God too much for God t allow a loss.’ Who knew? Here are a couple of Ray Lewisisms:

  • After defeating the 49ers – “it’s simple: when God is for you who can be against you?”

  • In response to what he would say to the families of the murder victims whose lost lives resulted in Murder charges against Lewis, (charges were dropped when he plead guilty to obstruction of justice) he said – ‘To the family, if you knew – if you knew the way God works – he don’t use people who commits anything like that for his glory. No way. It’s the total opposite.’

I am thrilled that Ray Lewis openly displays his Christianity to the world. I am gobsmacked at how he does that. One sports expert said that the whole dressing room had bought into the notion that God had given Lewis a message and were all believing that God was on their side. What a pile of bile!

If I am to understand this correctly God, who could be busy with any host of real issues in the world is busy leading the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl Championship? God likes Baltimore better than San Francisco apparently. If I understand correctly, God is fully immersed in the outcome of a football game and has apparently ‘picked’ the Ravens – because if “God is for us…” must mean God is not for the 49ers. Further, God has Lewis for great good because he has had football success. And because God has used God to a greater purpose, Lewis could not possibly be guilty of murder because God would never use a murderer. Wait a minute here — anyone ever hear of David? You know King David from the bible — reference 2 Samuel 11:5-27


What saddens me more is the number of people in America who actually believe that God is invested in the outcome of a commercial exhibition of excess that is worth billions. The Public Religion Research Institute took a poll in January and released the results you see at the right.  More than half of Americans would agree with Lewis that God is influencing the outcome of the big game. In some Christian demographics that that number rises to 70%.  With all of that in mind I was left with little to know choice –

I cheered for the 49ers and  —- They Lost!

I cheered for a team that also had bible believing Christians on it. I cheered for the guys who did not have an arrogant spokesperson saying that God was looking out for them. (They had Randy Moss declaring he is the best receiver of all time – different kind of arrogance). I wanted them to win because I really wanted to know what Ray Lewis would have to say to his teammates after a loss. If they had lost the game would he still have said that this is proof that “if God is for us, who can be against us?”

With my money I will bet that God is not in the business of making football picks! If God is, I await the day when God picks the Lions.

As a footnote — in hockey God is a Montreal Canadiens fan though — right? – kidding!

So how do you pick a winner? — Flip a coin, draw a straw, make a guess — but please leave God out of it!

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