More people annually watch the Super Bowl than go to church on a typical Sunday. The NFL alone is more popular than religion in two ways: a greater number of us make time in our lives for the NFL than for the church, and the number of hours we spend weekly with the NFL is greater than the hours we spend in church activities and programs. This may be a small surprise to some but will mostly be of little surprise to the masses. Around 29% of Americans watch six or more
hours of the NFL each week, whereas less than 20% of Americans give any time to the pew on a given week.
Sunday sports were once illegal across America. In 1904, Branch Rickey, catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, was cut from the roster because he was a Methodist and he would not suit up on a Sunday. Typically, baseball managers were jailed for playing on Sundays since Sundays were a Sabbath and Christians were intent on keeping that day sacred. Many sports have instituted some quasi-religious activities in their organization to calm the critics. I love hearing the NASCAR prayers before the races where safety, good sportsmanship, and a hat tip to God are interspersed with the over use of the word “just.” I would think they would at least give a thanks for the corn dogs.
Sports and Sabbath continue to play with each other from early childhood sports teams all the way to grown people playing games they learned as children. I side with Sunday being Sabbath with a good belief that a day committed to attention given to the gifts of life in God is more important than being entertained. Have a corn dog and keep a Sabbath.
Pastor Dan Martin