Were you glued to the TV last weekend watching the Grey Cup, the Super Bowl of Canada? No, neither was anybody else with a full slate of NFL games to watch. Nonetheless, the game, between the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders was a nail biter, coming down to to a field goal attempt with no time left the clock by Montreal kicker Damon Duval.
But wait! A second chance at redemption! Unlike American football, which adopts soccer and rugby's 11-man squads, the Canadians go for 12 players on the field per team at a time. But they draw the line at 13. Unfortunately for Saskatchewan, an extra one of their defenders screwed up and got caught on the field when the play started. Penalty, do over, and 10 yards closer, by the way. Duval took his second chance and nailed the kick, Montreal winning 28-27.
So what does Duval (who, to be fair, is not Canadian) do after the game? Does he thank the Saskatchewan defender who chumped the substitution and provided the second chance? Of course not, he thanked his invisible friend in the sky, God.
I've written before about how it turns my stomach when athletes draft God on their side when they win (He never gets flack for a loss, tho'). Rather than rehash that, I'll quote a bit of Ed Brayton's post on Duval's proclamation, as it tracks my thoughts perfectly:
Really, Damon? God did that? How exactly did he do it? Did he tell the 12th guy to run on to the field so he could be humiliated on national television and be blamed for the loss by his teammates and the Saskatchewan fans? Because that's about the only way God could actually have caused it to happen. Perhaps you'd like to ask God why he hates that 12th man on the Roughriders so much.Oh, and this.
Or better yet, ask yourself why you think you're so special that God went out of his way to humiliate another human being just to make sure you could win a game of football. Is that really what God spends his time doing, fixing the results of football games? Perhaps God had money on the game with a bookie and just wanted to cover the spread?
As Ed points out, people who spout these kinds of platitudes apparently don't think through the logic of their position. It's really just a tackiness thing when it pops up in sports, but when it pops up in some kind of natural disaster or the like it's much more sinister.
UPDATE: My, what a fickle deity. Apparently the Lord has swung his support to the University of Texas, who otherwise sucked so bad that they needed divine intervention to squeak past Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. Is it too much to hope that Alabama isn't a bunch of God botherers so I can at least root for them in the BCS title game?