Friday, January 4, 2013

Nine Theological Questions About the National Championship Game

by Ben Howard

On Monday night, the sports world will turn it's collective eye to Miami for the BCS National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Since every sportswriter in the country is writing about this game, I thought I'd join in. However, since I've made it my mission in life to juxtapose the entire world one non-sequitor at a time, I've decided to explore nine theological questions about the National Championship game.

Why nine questions? Because this is not a game for double-digits. #OldFashionedDefensiveFootball (trademark pending)

Question #1: Is Notre Dame David or Job?

If they win, then Notre Dame will have done the impossible and conquered Goliath with but five smooth stones and a sling (new nickname for Manti Te'o?). If they lose, then Notre Dame is Job, a good man struck down by the satan while God stood by and allowed it. I have $20 that says Lou Holtz is lamenting by halftime, but I'm totally open to revising my interpretation of the facts after they happen.

Question #2: If Alabama Believes in God, But God Roots for Notre Dame, Does An Alabama Victory Undermine God's Omnipotence?

Evangelicals of Alabama, do you realize that a victory for your team will unravel the basic tenets of your faith?!? DO YOU?!? How will God be able to keep the gays from marrying or the evolutionists from teaching if you undermine his omnipotence with your puny, worthless football?!?

Question #3: Could God Make An Offense So Good That Even Alabama Couldn't Stop It?

There's an age old question about whether God could make a rock so heavy that even God couldn't lift it. Well, since Alabama is the Platonic definition of a defense (a thing at its very thingiest), I thought I'd turn that question around a bit.

The answer I'm sure you'll discover is yes, but God will need some assistance from Johnny Heisman (nee Football) and/or a certain Magical Woodland Fairy Creature that we'll get to later.

Question #4: Will Joe Namath Finally Achieve His Lifelong Goal of Kissing Suzy Kolber?

What does this have to do with theology you say? Absolutely nothing, but I'm a romantic and sometimes you just wanna see an old man happy.

In case this reference is totally over your head, here's the story. In 2003, Suzy Kolber was a sideline reporter for ESPN and interviewed Joe Namath, former Alabama and New York Jets quarterback, on the sidelines of a game in New York. In answer to Kolber's first question, Namath responded by saying, “I just wanna kiss you.” He was rebuffed by the obviously uncomfortable Kolber.

As a famous alumni, Namath will probably be at this game. Kolber probably won't, but that doesn't mean a guy can't dream. I just want to see Broadway Joe smile.

Question #5: Is The Pope Watching the Game Live?

Pope Benedict XVI (aka Emperor Palpatine) is the most important Notre Dame fan in the world with the possible exceptions of Jed Bartlett (who isn't a real person) and Lou Holtz (who is possibly a Muppet). Sadly, the game won't start until 2 AM at the Vatican which leads to an important question, will the Pope be watching the game live? And if he doesn't, do blessings still work on tape-delay?

Question #6: Is Nick Saban Satan?

Valid question. In the words of the Church Lady, “Replace that B with a T and what's that spell? SATAN!” Do with this information what you will.

Question #7: How Will Tim Tebow Be Involved?

It's the most religiously charged National Championship Game since BYU won the title in 1984 (Mormons count for double), is there any way that the Magical Woodland Fairy Creature That Is Tim Tebow won't be involved in the climactic moment?

Here's my theory, with Notre Dame down 17 to 0 early in the 3rd quarter, Tebow will fly into the stadium on one of the magical eagles from The Hobbit which will simultaneously pick up Everett Golson and fly off into the night. ESPN will quickly announce that Tebow actually has been playing in the NFL without getting paid and has one more year of eligibility because...Jesus. Tebow will complete 3 of his 31 passes all of them for touchdowns. He will also make 15 tackles and intercept 3 passes because he can and Rex Ryan is dumb. After the game he will announce his retirement and ride off into the sunset on Aslan.

Question #8: What Level of Hell Will It Be To Watch This Game?

Clearly, watching this defensive struggle (aka The Anemic Offense Bowl) will fall into one of the classical Nine Levels of Hell from Dante's Inferno. After much research (read: 2 minutes of reading Wikipedia), I've decided that it's the 5th Level which is reserved for Anger. To quote the great editors of Wikipedia regarding this level, “the wrathful fight each other on the surface, and the sullen lie gurgling beneath the water, withdrawn 'into a black sulkiness which can find no joy in God or man or the universe.'”

So...that sounds fun.

Question #9: How Then Can We Be Saved?

After watching this game, the fans of the losing team will be rioting uncontrollably while the fans of the winning team also riot uncontrollably. However, in the rest of the country we will all be asking ourselves, what did we do wrong? What did we do to deserve the punishment of watching this game? How can we be saved from Old-Fashioned Defensive Football (trademark pending)?

Unto them a savior will come and he will be named "Braxton" for he is awesome. He will be coached by a great man named after a Pope and he will lead a once forgotten empire to greatness again. And verily, the world will watch, and the world will be awed. They will call out “OH” and they will hear in return “IO” and the world will be at peace again. Go Bucks!


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