There is a Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey that celebrates Football Sunday to draw the menfolk in. Complete with a tailgate party after the service, this event may boost numbers, but the winner of this divine gridiron has not yet been determined. Not being a fan of football (or any other sport — oh, the heresy!) this particular tactic would not appeal to me, but knowing that when guys get together the topic of sports always seems to come up, well, it just makes sense.
According to the canonical Gospels, Jesus never played football. (The Gospel of Judas, however, does mention a quarterback-sneak, I believe.) The few times I’ve watched games on television (generally under duress) I see a bunch of men trying their physical best to beat some other guys up. Rampaging after a pig-skin (definitely not kosher), they attempt to score and prevent the other team from doing so. This is my amateur analysis of what I am told is a very complex game.
Rewind. Stop. Replay. The Baptist Church. Founded to protest against the vicissitudes of the Church of England, the Puritan-inclined Baptists wished to establish a church free from the constraints of the formalism inherent in the staid worship of either Roman or Anglo-Catholic England. Breaking from tradition was an honored principle here. Like our football heroes, they joined a team against the competition for that Super Bowl in the sky. Will the men stick around for the post-season slump? Maybe not, but as Notre Dame has always known, the divine man is a big fan of the Catholic team.