God trolls Russell Wilson as Patriots win Super Bowl

When I was in ninth grade, my JV baseball team played a scrimmage against Spotswood High, a much smaller school. Before the game started, Spotswood’s players circled up at third base and prayed for a victory. We won by slaughter rule.

Scenes like that are far from uncommon in American sports. Of all of sports’ odd superstitions, perhaps the most pervasive and unjustified is the pregame prayer for victory — both by players and fans: In a poll conducted before yesterday’s Super Bowl, 26 percent of Americans reported believing that God directly decides the outcome of sporting events, and 53 percent of Americans reported believing that God rewards religious athletes with health and success — as if a benevolent God would tear a running back’s ACL for the crime of not praying hard enough.

One such believer is Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who went even further following his NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers to assert that not only did God give his team the win, he also added to the game’s drama by making Wilson throw four interceptions before guiding him to a comeback win of Biblical proportions. Per Wilson, God doesn’t just pick winners and losers; he make sure that America is treated to excellent primetime entertainment.

And as yesterday’s Super Bowl made its way into the closing minutes, it looked like God would come through for Wilson (and the NFL’s ratings) yet again. Down by four with less than two minutes to go, Seahawks wideout Jermaine Kearse hauled in this table-flippingly miraculous catch from Wilson to put them in a position to take the lead:

But the Good Lord giveth and the Good Lord taketh: Only two plays later, on second-and-goal from the one yard line with one timeout left, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called a play so soul-crushingly evil that only the Devil himself could have drawn up: Instead of handing the ball to the most powerful running back in the game, Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch, he called a passing play. And Wilson, whose hand was presumably guided by the Holy Spirit, threw an interception, sealing the game for the Patriots:

What does a devoted sports fan make of this? Did God forsake Russell Wilson, or did he smile on the cornerback who made the interception, Malcolm Butler? After all, Butler did say in a postgame interview that he “had a vision” that he was going to “make a big play.” If that’s true, then he is either a very powerful wizard or a very athletic prophet. One way or another, it was a wild way to end the biggest game of the year.

And hopefully, although I doubt it, America learned something last night. To paraphrase former Senator George Mitchell: Although he is frequently asked to do so, God does not take sides in American sporting events. Period.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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34 Responses to “God trolls Russell Wilson as Patriots win Super Bowl”

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  2. kurtsteinbach says:

    Maybe it was the Devil who got the Seahawks to both Super Bowls in the first place. . . . Last year was just a fluke, Russell. . . .

  3. kurtsteinbach says:

    You know how screwed up the world and people are, and you still believe there’s a god? Oh Bellevue! We have another contestant for the enchanted kingdom.

  4. kurtsteinbach says:

    I immediately thought of Jeff Fischer and his favorite gadget plays. It’s the kind of thing Fischer would have done. LOL!

  5. kurtsteinbach says:

    Unless they were hung like pictures on the wall, I think you mean the place where many of the Salem “witches” were hanged, not hung. Art is hung on the wall. People are hanged at the gallows. . . .

  6. kurtsteinbach says:

    Yeah, but it sure is fun to mess with their heads. . . . heh heh heh!

  7. Anita Cox says:

    You can’t fix Stupid.

  8. Moderator3 says:

    Brian, to whom are you addressing this? There is a reply button under every comment.

  9. Indigo says:

    That’s pretty much how I see it and okay. And yes, it’s antiquarian, before Constantine, the Emperor clever enough to preempt a low class social paradigm and call it a state religion. The poor things can’t function with out state support. That’s just sad.

  10. Don Chandler says:

    wow, they got fined for divine showboating…Matthew 6.6 actually makes sense.

  11. nicho says:

    Priceless. It doesn’t take the T-Shirt people long.

  12. nicho says:

    Actually, this whole pointing your finger into the sky thing that athletes do was invented by the ancient Greeks. They were thanking the gods for turning them into a god for just a few minutes. Sounds a little non-Christian to me.

  13. Indigo says:

    I can’t speak for the Christian god in any form, although I have the impression he enjoys wars, but as far as sport is concerned, the ancient Olympics were celebrated in honor of the Olympian gods. In fact, in Homer’s Odyssey and also in the Iliad, funeral rites include games in honor of the gods. I think that’s fine. There’s nothing to suggest the gods concerned themselves much with who won, but the mythological record is clear, they enjoyed watching athletic events.

  14. basenjilover says:

    When Seahawks won the championship, I was completely turned off when Seahawks and Wilson huddled together and prayed. It was then I didn’t want Seahawks to win the Super Bowl. Wah wah boo hoo, “god is good”… blah blah…. (apparently he forgot the verse Matthew 6:6) I cheered loudly when Wilson’s “God” snatched that winning pass.

  15. MMaximuSS1975 says:

    It’s seeing stuff like this that makes me wish that I became an atheist sooner. Religion and superstition……glorified delusions.

  16. nicho says:

    Oh, but he does take sides. That’s why the rest of the word is such a freaking mess. If he were doing his job, instead of trying to beat the spread on next week’s game, we’d be a heck of a lot better off.

  17. BeccaM says:

    It’s blasphemous and sacrilegious to be asking what one believes to be the supreme omnipotent deity of the entire universe to interfere with a sporting match.

    Basically, it’s saying, “Hey God, You gave us these talents and skills, but it’s not enough, so please give us an unfair advantage and enable us to cheat using Your divine super-powers to achieve a victory we would not win otherwise. Sure, we could pray for the homeless or for starving kids in third-world countries or for the ultra-wealthy to stop being so greedy…but we want to crush our opponents in this otherwise meaningless game because it’ll make them and their fans feel terrible. Amen.”

  18. Badgerite says:

    Or……It could be Lombardi’s Revenge. The Curse of Lombardi was upon them.

  19. Badgerite says:

    Hmmm. Is that rain in Seattle or tears?

  20. nicho says:

    A friend of mine who is a football fanatic (don’t even try to call him on weekends during season) had this to say about Pete Carroll.

    “He is always so full of himself and I think he called that last play to put it in Brady’s face that his quarterback was the better one and he could win by doing what Brady does so well, throw a game winning pass for a touchdown.”

    Makes about as much sense as anything else I’ve read.

  21. ComradeRutherford says:

    Religionists are so crazy. Any god who gives a crap about a sporting event in NOT the SUPREME GOD of ALL the UNIVERSE. Duh. At most the ‘god’ of American evangelical ‘Christians’ is maybe the spiritual overseer of maybe parts of this country. Certainly not of the planet and definitely not of the solar system.

  22. bruincheerleader says:

    god must really hate interceptions on the one yard line…lolololol

  23. nicho says:

    Ironically, the place where many of the Salem “witches” were hung is now a playground. It’s called “Gallows Hill Playground.” I used to drive by it on my shortcut route to school. It’s also on a street where some of the utility poles are actually in the roadway, you have be careful to drive around them.

  24. 2karmanot says:

    Indeed, instead of a Hail Mary it’s called a Salem Pass.

  25. 2karmanot says:

    There is nothing more divine than profane snark!

  26. Gindy51 says:

    That and the story of one mayor banning cheese when they played the Packers. Nuts I tell ya.

  27. Gindy51 says:

    Pete Carroll threw the game? /tinfoil hat off

  28. Indigo says:

    That was New England witchcraft at work.

  29. Badgerite says:

    Seriously. Who the F throws the ball on second and goal, 2 minutes to go, with the Superbowl on the line?

  30. Demosthenes says:

    Alas, God doesn’t take sides in sporting events. If He did, by now my Cubs would have won a World Series, at least out of pity.

  31. UncleBucky says:

    Agreed. That’s about as callous as a christianIST denying service to a class of people s/he doesn’t like.

  32. UncleBucky says:

    One team praying for itself to win over the other is blasphemous and superstitious. As if the wise creator of a universe or multiverse should give help to the team that gives outward sign that the divinity is “on our side {wink, wink, nod, nod} would even notice.

    BOTH teams praying for a good game is more in keeping with Jesus’s mandates. See?

  33. nicho says:

    Or it could be that God finds the Seahawks fans just as obnoxious as the rest of us do. A friend was flying out of SeaTac two weeks ago, and people wearing Seahawks jerseys were allowed to board the plane first — even ahead of first class.

  34. SkippyFlipjack says:

    God made Cheatey Petey throw the ball.

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