The Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. How did this happen?
Let’s look at the stats:
Ohh… now I get it.
Magic center Dwight Howard may have only seen the last line there…
“First, I want to thank God, man, because without Him none of this would be possible. I told my guys before the game if we come out, we play 100%, play hard for 48 minutes, then God is gonna do the rest, and He did it tonight. We got a good victory, man — it’s all because of Him.”
I don’t care if Howard is religious. But implicit in his statement is the idea that God wanted to see Boston lose. Let’s see Howard address that. Let’s hear a Celtics player say, “Yeah, God wasn’t on our side tonight.”
SuperBowlXX has a much longer, in-depth post about athletes and their faith at Daily Kos. He also remarks about the stigma that would befall any atheist athlete who dared to say something like “God had nothing to do with my team’s victory.” It’s a great read with tons of examples. He writes:
So let me offer a suggestion to Dwight Howard and all athletes who choose to use the camera to thank God for their victories in sports: It is okay if you don’t. Honestly. I will not think any less of you as athletes or as persons for believing in a higher power, and I’m sure that most fans wouldn’t mind if you chose not to promote your belief that God helped you win that game. If you wish to express gratefulness for anything, please be grateful for the fact that you are playing a game as your full-time job. Be grateful for the fact that millions of people look up to you and admire you and follow you all year round in the hopes that your team wins. Be grateful for the fact that you are skilled enough to be working in a profession that not only pays a huge amount of money, but that only a very small handful of people in the entire country ever get to do. Be grateful for the fact that you can do sports for a living when millions of families living in poverty, who live with no roofs over their heads, often cannot even get enough food to survive.
In the grand scheme of things, I would think a basketball game is meaningless. I doubt any god would care about a team’s performance.
One day, after an athlete talks about how God helped his team win, I’d love to see the reporter rebut the statement — ask follow-ups, question the athlete’s logic, ask why God wanted them to lose the other games. How great would that be?