College Football as a Religious Experience

(Author’s note: The following is meant to be humorous.  As I write about the South’s great religions of Christianity and College Football, I realize that I run the risk of being misunderstood.  Please, chill out and enjoy.)

Ok, I must confess.  I am bored out of my mind with sports right now.  It is that lull time when Baseball division races haven’t heated up that much and college football season hasn’t started.  While I like baseball, I would say that like many southerners I have a nearly unhealthy attachment to college football.   In what little remains of the Bible Belt and in significant parts of its former territory, high school and college football are forms of religion.  What’s more, like the Israelites of old, people have a way of mixing their worship of idols with their worship of the one true God.  On Sunday morning, don’t be surprised if you go to church in Athens and see someone in a red and black suit with a Georgia Bulldog tie.  The gold and purple suits in Baton Rouge, however, are a bit shocking to the senses, yet not surprising considering the religious fervor.

So, it is not surprising that I ran across this on Amazon.com.  That’s right:  it’s a devotional book for the die-hard Georgia fan.  But don’t worry, if you are not a Georgia fan.  The same author has written similar devotions for Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Clemson, NC State, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Duke, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech and even, Georgia Tech.  Outside of the South (of which I hold the membership of Texas questionable), there is one written for Penn State.  The same author also has written a devotional book for NASCAR fans.

I must acknowledge that I have never read any of these devotions.  I haven’t even read part of one.  My devotional reading is limited to the Bible and maybe another book that I read after prayer in the mornings such as Practicing the Presence of God, The Mortification of Sin by John Owen, and E.M. Bounds’ Works on Prayer.  It appears that these sports devotional books consist of some pieces of trivia about athletics at the schools.  I am sure some of these lend themselves to thoughts of God and Christ, but I would suspect that some need a major Jesus juke to get to the spiritual end zone.

Being a somewhat occasionally sarcastic individual, I couldn’t help but think that such books for college football fans needed subtitles.  So, here is my list:

Devotions for Alabama Fans: Nick Saban Will Have No gods Before Him
Devotions for Auburn Fans: Confession Is Good for The Soul
Devotions for Tennessee Fans: Prayers that Overcome the Demon of Lane Kiffin
Devotion’s for Georgia Tech Fans: Life’s M-Train
Devotions for Georgia Fans: Overcoming Life’s Disappointments
Devotions for North Carolina Fans: Cheaters Never Win and We’re Proof
Devotions for Ohio State Fans: I Wouldn’t Stand Close to Jim Tressel if I Were You
Devotions for Florida Fans: The Glory Hath Departed—Life after Tebow

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