Does praying really work? I am guessing it does, because any footballer whoever crossed a goal line knows that next to putting both feet on the ground, it’s getting an elbow down on bended knee fast that is just good sense. Especially if your contract is up this season.
It seems that NFL’s Sunday, Monday and Thursday football games ensure that at least three days out of the week, someone is getting to church, sort of.
My question is, should one pray before making the play? Or only after? Is a touchdown the minimum requirement for a prayer? What if one flubs an end zone pass? Especially in the fourth quarter? Should one whisper a plea for a second chance? Maybe admit they did not really close their eyes during opening team prayers earlier on? Personally, I would pray for protection from getting pureed by a highly motivated gang of college-educated, beef-fed, millionaire road pavers.
Of course, the truly devout are curlers. I witnessed this when I watched an intense match on the ice earlier this weekend while viewing sports TV in a Canadian pub. On one screen we had football: men in colorful helmets and tight pants; on another: extreme surfing. Yet another there was cage fighting, and on the fourth screen, curling.
Without fail, on every shot, the curler would get down on one knee immediately and stay long enough to string together a pitch for charity, world peace, an end to the chicken dance, and for their rock to land on the button at the other end of the rink.
You may think my bar-mates were also praying that they would not to die before they woke at the end of the game, but you would be mistaken. Despite touchdown passes hurtling through the air, sharks tearing into surfboards, fighter bits oozing through the grills of their cage, all eyes were wide open, riveted solely on the curlers madly swiffing the ice in front of a rock rumbling down to its target at about 4 miles per hour.
This past summer the whole issue had come to a head at the NFL where rules are to flag any “excessive” celebration that might taunt an opponent to explode into a melted pool of plastic.
So in practice, it turns out that one-knee prayers are okay, but two-knee prayers are excessive. Hence the curlers slip in under this definition.
It is also worthy of note that curling is a game built on contemplation. In addition to allowing the near glacial speed of the stone, the curlers themselves have up to four minutes to “think” about their shot… which I suspect is separate from praying.
This is all well and good that comparisons between the two sports reveal their differences but we would never expect to cross-pollinate the two.
After all, football doesn’t use brooms, and curlers don’t spike the stone.