I grew up in a very Christian house and I remember being tickled pink whenever one of my sports heroes would thank god after a big win. Every Lions fan knew that Barry Sanders and JC were tight. One of my earliest baseball memories is Frank Tanana on TV thanking the big guy for helping him win the game that clinched the division and got the Tigers into the 1987 ALCS with the Twins.
But I started to wonder a few years ago: How come god plays favorites like that? I mean, why did he help out Tanana that afternoon but then totally leave the Tigers hanging out to dry in the actual playoffs? Were the Twins fans just praying harder?
Finally I realized that it has nothing to do with god at all. If Dave Dravecky and Orel Hershiser, two incredibly (some might say fanatically) devout Christians, pitched against each other, god didn’t magically flip a coin and decide which one of his children would win and which would lose. Either they made their pitches and got run support or they lost.
I guess my point is that I’d like to see us get beyond all of this. Tim Tebow didn’t win a national championship for Florida because Jesus came down and guided his passes. He won because he spent hours on the field and in the weight room preparing for those games. I’m guessing Tanana did the same thing. In fact, if there’s anything that should make you wonder about the possibility of divine intervention, consider David Wells. How that man can launch that girth out of bed every morning, much less throw a perfect game, is the only evidence of miracles that I’ve ever seen.