Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Is it o.k. to like sports?

I have to confess here that over the past couple of years, I've become a somewhat more intense NFL fan. Compared to many many people out there that can quote you player stats from the past 15 years, and many many others who enter elaborate multi-level marketing type fantasy football leagues, I'm no true fan. I'm just comparing myself to myself - and 5 years ago Steve didn't watch as much football as present day Steve. Now, it does help that Michelle and I aren't exactly in traditional church environments, so I can actually watch the 10am (PST) games.

Over the years, I've always had friends in the alternative and/or punk scene, who almost never enjoy playing or watching sports. Nobody has said anything outright to me, but for some reason, I always felt like a sellout for liking sports. Is it that major media sports are part of the Western Industrial Complex that represents all that is wrong with the world? I don't know. Somehow I doubt that my friends who dislike sports are appalled at the beer commercials. Not sure what it is.

I do know this - as my own level of interest and attention to pro football has increased, so has my level of fascination with the metaphors and cultural significance related to it. It's wacky how I can walk down the streets of Seattle and go from elation when I see a fellow Chargers fan sporting his hat/sweatshirt/jersey to absolute disdain when I see a Raiders fan with his gear. I can be in a sports pub high-fiving a guy I don't know, simply because he wears lightening bolts on his clothing. What's that about?

Is it just me, or is Super Bowl Sunday a bigger national holiday than Presidents Day, MLK Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and maybe Labor Day? All of the above are "stay-home-from-work" days for many people, but they're not as big a deal as the Super Bowl.

I remember meeting Rick Bennett back in May of 2002. At the time, he was doing church planting in Boston. He spoke with an intense love for his city, and wept at how deeply grieved people were after 9/11, because the airplanes that the terrorists used had originated in Boston. He then said what a major source of relief/joy/unity it was when the New England Patriots won that season's Super Bowl. People were desperate for something to feel good about. And they felt good about football.

I'll say that I'm not a big fan of publicly financed sports stadiums (stadia?), and I do think many people go way overboard in their affection for their chosen teams. But there's something about sports that has cultural power. I don't think that should be dismissed. Frankly, I'm more than a little surprised that there hasn't been some church planting movement surrounding sports metaphors. I'm not inviting one, mind you, I'm just saying.

O.k., with all that said, I'm a particularly chipper sports fan right about now. The San Diego Chargers have returned to greatness. I'm certainly not assuming that they're going to the Super Bowl this year. But they played a darn good season, and made football a blast to watch for me. Oh, also, the San Diego Padres are the National League West Champions - not nearly as dominant in their sport, but still fun. So, until early February, when I go into sports hibernation, I'll be singing that funky disco crap song "San Diego, Superchargers, SAN-DEEE-AYGO . . . CHARGERS!"

posted by Steve at 12:35 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous commented at 10:16 PM~  

Hey Steve,

Keep writing even when it's only once in a blue moon or once in a seattle snow storm. :)

And as for those Chargers, NEVER bet against that Michigan man named Tom Brady. Sorry about a San Diego season that now seems lost.


Blogger Steve commented at 6:26 AM~  

Thanks Randy. People around here that I talk sports with have heard me say all season that there are two words that worry me about the Charger in the playoffs - "Marty Shottenheimer."

Of course, as a San Diego sports fan, I've grown quite accustomed to coming up short. Championships just always seem a bit out of reach. Oh well.

And because it's relevant to your comment - we have four inches of snow on the ground at my house, and there may be more today . . . Cheers!

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 9:45 AM~  

Go Pats!

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spirit farmer data

I'm Steve Lewis. This used to be my blogging home. My online home is now at SpiritFarmer.com. When this blog was my active online home, I lived in Seattle. Now I live in London, UK. I follow Jesus (poorly most of the time), worship simply, read a lot, watch culture, go to school, listen to music, write, enjoy art, and drink a lot of coffee.
e-mail me: spiritfarmer@gmail.com

seattle spots

victrola coffee
zoka coffee
university of washington
church of the apostles
quest church
sanctuary church
shoreline vineyard

sites i visit

off the map
nt wright

a few of the blogs in the feedreader

jason evans
joe boyd
kevin rains
alan creech
chris marshall
bill bean
eugene cho
jordon cooper
dwight friesen
john chandler
amy palmer
ryan bolger
rudy carrasco
ryan sharp
sings in the sunshine
rick bennett
scot mcknight
karen ward
alan hirsch
dan kimball
petey crowder

i'm reading it

colossians remixed
africa unchained

i finished reading it - 2007

generation me
jesus and the restoration of israel
god's continent
globalizing theology
gustavo gutierrez: essential writings
jesus and the eyewitnesses
garlands of grace
twenty poems to nourish your soul
the black swan
dancing in the streets
made to stick
signs in contemporary culture
hit the bullseye
the politics of jesus
readings in christian ethics
toward old testament ethics
the kite runner
principles of conduct
velvet elvis
the irresistable revolution
they like jesus, but not the church
the great omission
charisma: the gift of grace, and how it has been taken from us
the starfish and the spider
a perfect mess
the world cafe
the new faces of christianity
leaving church
journeying in faith
the creed
transforming mission
metaphors we live by
foolishness to the greeks
personal knowledge

states i've spent time: 2007

british columbia
oh yeah, denmark, too

i wrote it

managing conflict in the 'new world'
music review: over the rhine
film review: bonhoeffer
music review: fighting jacks
film review: the passion of the christ
how reality tv changes lives
the best tv article you've ever read
corks & caps: a wine lover's story of change
america's idols
random, disorganized thoughts about life after the katrina disaster
missional . . . plain and simple
on becoming post-gnostic

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