Jordi on Dan Snyder Should Be Controversial
The Pacifist Viking on NFL Coaches being Controversial
Leave the Man Alone on Who is Controversial
This week's situation with Jon Kitna claiming to be healed of a concussion nearly ruined my pick, but I'm sticking with Jesus as the controversial NFL figure no one's talking about. Christianity (or any faith, really) isn't controversial to many NFL fans or media members most of the time, and I wonder...why not?! Shouldn't it bother you that your favorite player cares more about the Good Book than his playbook?
See, here in America, we have made a deal with religion. You can believe whatever you want, and do whatever you want in your mosque, synagogue, temple, or church. That freedom comes at a price, however. You must not say that your religion is better than anyone else's. And you must not say that your religion is powerful in the real world. You can't upset the American status quo. Those are the rules in a free America, and most people are more than willing to play by them in return for complete freedom of religion.
Kitna broke a rule last week. By saying Jesus healed him of a concussion, he's admitting that he believes his faith has power in the real world, at his job. That statement provoked strong reaction. LZ Granderson had an interesting argument here. But I think in some ways LZ was being nice. Does what happened to Kitna, if it really happened, mean that if you're in competition with a job with a Christian, she could pray to God and get the position over you? Yes, it does. No wonder so many columnists reacted negatively. Who wants to compete against someone with God on their side if it really does make a difference?
But what if all NFL personalities, not just Kitna, decided to be truly radical in their Christian outlook? Let's take a look, based on what I know of the Bible. Now mind you, I'm not saying all of these actions would be accepted by all Christians. For example, many Christians would argue drinking is ok, just don't get drunk. I'm just saying, you could get to these decisions by reading the Bible.
What if an NFL player quit the league because he didn't want to play on the Christian worship day of Sunday?
What if a defensive player decided to quit because he didn't want to be responsible for causing lifelong injury to his fellow man, shortening their life and clouding their thoughts?
What if a player asked his coach to stop swearing around him because he didn't want to hear God's name taken in vain?
What if a player refuses to do commercials for a company because he thinks their product harms people's bodies or causes people to sin?
What if he dedicated himself to using his fame for preaching the gospel, and wouldn't give interviews unless he could preach during the interview?
What if an owner turned down public money for his stadium and insisted it go to programs to help the poor, widowed, sick, and mentally/physically challenged?
What if he told fans to stay home sometimes from the games to make sure to spend time with their families?
What if he cut off the sale of beer at his stadium because too many fans get drunk and misbehave?
What if he got rid of his cheerleaders because he felt that they made women feel ugly and men feel horny and want to cheat on their wives?
What if she gave the team's RB a better contract than he deserved, just to make up for the years when his contract underpaid him?
What if he fired a successful coach because he was treating players badly or was cheating?
Christian Broadcasters and Media
What if a media member refused to go public with a spicy story about the QB's infidelity, but instead went to him and begged him to get pastoral/counseling help with his marriage?
What if the media would remind fans not to judge until the true facts were known, and to have more patience with their teams?
What if talk radio guys worked on discussing the truth about a team, instead of exaggerating points and mocking fans to make themselves look more manly?
What if fans put their family and work before the NFL?
What if they did their best to behave appropriately, because they want to love their neighbor and not hinder their enjoyment of the game?
What if fans stopped questioning a referee's decisions because he is the authority over the game, and deserves respect?
What if a coach cared about his players not only for what they could do on the field, but for what they could do off?
What if the coach refused to cut marginal players because of injury, knowing they need the money even more when they can't work?
What if the coach admitted his faults freely when he messed up a game, instead of letting his players take the heat?
Now tell me Jesus Christ isn't the most underrated controversial figure in the NFL! (with apologies to Jordi, PV, and Leave the Man Alone's entries, of course, ha). True faith in anything is not passive. It is active, and it causes changes not only in you, but in the world around you. And that SHOULD create controversy.