#675 – NFL Kickoff

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The NFL season kicked off last night and I couldn’t be more excited. Actually, if I had Peyton Manning and his seven touchdowns on any of my fantasy teams I would be more excited.

I always feel like my nerd credibility takes a hit during the NFL season. While I still have my favorite nerdclinations, they sometimes take a back seat to football and fantasy football. As Mike suggested in a comment last week, perhaps that’s because being a sports nerd is far more socially acceptable than being a sci-fi or fantasy nerd.

For me, though, football meets a lot of the same needs as our favorite nerdclinations. The best part about our nerdclinations is that they bring us together with other nerds. We can’t play Magic by ourselves and watching The Avengers is more fun when we have others with whom to dissect it.

Football does the same thing.

Last night I hung out with a large group of my friends to watch the NFL kickoff.

Earlier this week I had fun talking about fantasy football after youth group.

This Sunday I hope to hang out with friends and watch some of the late NFL games at church.

God created us to be in relationship with people and nerdclinations or football can help facilitate those friendships. Obviously our friendships need more than super heroes and touchdowns but they can’t hurt.

What nerdclinations bring you and your friends together?

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2 Responses to “#675 – NFL Kickoff”

  1. I like your take on football as a “nerdclination” (and, yes, indeed, a socially acceptable one) that brings folks together like any other. God did create us to live in community, and if football can create and cement a sense of community with others, then it is being well used. Our family (nuclear and extended) enjoys playing our own, non-monetary, just-for-kicks fantasy league every fall. It is a way to share in my son’s much more passionate interest in the sport!

    I do increasingly wonder, though, if the way the game is played right now makes it really just too violent for Christians to approve of, explicitly or implicitly. Understand, I am not criticizing you or anyone else for doing so – as I just said, we watch the games, root for the home team, follow the players in fantasy league, and snack on the sofa like good Americans as much as anyone else. But it is *such* a brutal sport (as fantasy has made us even more keenly aware, what with watching our players fall to injury, week after week), and *such* a business full of “filthy lucre” and aggressive attitudes and scantily clad cheerleaders and flashy celebrity… The football culture is a troubling one on lots of fronts, and I haven’t reconciled for myself, let alone for my kid or for anyone else, how to appreciate and enjoy the sport from a Christian p.o.v.

    I think the “heads up” movement could help make the sport somewhat “kinder and gentler,” if it catches on; but there is also lots of evidence that, for all the good the NFL may be doing in that direction, they also don’t really have a vested interest in changing things. Witness the recent accusations that NFL pressured ESPN to drop out of the upcoming PBS documentary on head trauma to football players, or the fact that the settlement means there will be no glare of a trial to throw greater light on the issue, and that relatively little of the settlement money will go to researching how serious the injury actually is…

    I am rambling. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, as always, and enjoy your weekend (football games and all!) 🙂

    • One of my favorite radio hosts who played football says that football is a violent sport and in an ideal world it wouldn’t exist.

      Football really does meet our basest human needs to watch violence. I wonder if the early church wrestled with attending gladiator matches for the communal aspect.

      I admit that I want to watch football, partially because of its violence. I do want the game to be safer but I also know I wouldn’t like it nearly as much without the contact and the big hits.

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