Saturday, February 04, 2006

Super Bowl Boycott

I call on all those reading to boycott the Super Bowl. Have nothing to do with it. It is a debauched institution, although part of the liturgical year of most evangelical churches. Try going to a church service that day that doesn't mention it. (I'm preaching tomorrow and won't mention it, but the worship team probably will...) The Super Bowl is punctuated obscene and juvenile commercials (featuring mega-bimbos everywhere) that appeal to the seven deadly sins. Parents: do not expose yourself or your children to this! Moreover, it is a colossal waste of about three hours. Instead: read a book, pray, worship the King of Kings, call a lonely friend, take a nap (it is Sunday after all). Do something else that counts for eternity. As Thoreau said, "You cannot kill time without wounding eternity." See Psalm 90:12 as well.


BJS said...

OK, I will still try to put together my refutation of your argument that football is an inferior a sport in and of itself (its formal qualities), but just by way of a heads-up... I agree with you that its current accidental properties of rampant commercialism/consumerism and inane lowest-common-denominator marketing are deplorable.

Tomorrow we'll be having a few folks from the department over for a get together. Technically the game will be on, but I gather that most people will be enjoying the company of one another and (hopefully) my famous pasta saltimboca de crema. We are using the superbowl as a good excuse to have people over to our house and enjoy one another and good food. Again, however, I agree with the spirit of what drives your call for a boycott. That is, football, I believe, still has many redeeming qualities in its formal aspects, but the current state of television and media "events" coverage just degrades everything it touches to the lowest level of banality possibile (or so it certainly seems).

But it is like when you see a big terrible trainwreck. You can just stare at it and say how awful it is. Or you can get in there and try to save what is possible -- that is, we can try (as Christians we have this incredible ability -- it is an awesome part of our faith) to redeem things that have gone awry. Hence, we'll have folks over tomorrow and try to connect with some new people out here and make some more friends. Rather than focusing on the lame attempts by our consumeristic society to numb our minds, we'll be trying to interact with other human beings. Hey, it's a start -- and I'd bet it may have more success towards redemption of this broken culture we live in than a call for a boycott. Boycotts only tend to work if you can get a large scale number of people on board. Instead, imagine this: I have people over to my place, and the next day when someone asks them about how they enjoyed the game or a particular commericial or whatnot, they respond, "You know, I didn't really see it -- I was having such a great time with my new friends, BJ and Abbi and ____, that we hardly paid attention to all the hub-bub on the tube."

It could happen.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and pigs can fly!

John Haller said...

GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Any time with BJ is better than watching any football game. I know from experience.

The form of football--the necessary violence--cannot be redeemed. (I am not speaking of "flag football.") So, it doesn't matter that nice Christians play it (as one person complained to me on a phone message) or that we see superlative athleticism. Nice Christians might well sell lotto tickets, but that doesn't redeem gambling. Moreover, athletes may be seen in their glory in any other number of acceptable sports, all of which are totally unlike football.

It is rather telling that football coaches and players make more in one game than teachers would make in several years (perhaps many years). Our society rewards celebrity, violence, and egotism in sport. Think of the "celebrations" in the end zone, etc.

Turn off that TV!

Susan said...

Easy to do. I have no TV. I will be reading a book.

Unknown said...
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BJS said...

Dr. G, Abbi and I just got back from a great church service where Christ was worshiped and uplifted. It was wonderful. I thought you'd like to know that the superbowl was not mentioned or hinted at once by anyone at anytime during the service, nor even by anyone that I spoke with after the service around the coffee pot. The focus of the service was on a study of the passover. The music complemented that as did some readings and call and response time. We also had congregational prayer time. Finally we celebrated communion afterwards. After the service, the conversation I had with a few folks was about how God's powerful love can break through the bondage of any sin.

I'm not making this up. It was a wonderful morning. And, again, not once did I even hear the words "football" or "Superbowl," etc. Now, this afternoon, my wife and I will be having a handful of folks over to our place. None of them are Christians. But they all know that Abbi and I are. Our hospitality and love will hopefully give them a picture (albeit highly imperfect) of Christ and his love. The fact that the superbowl is the backdrop for this get together I don't see as an awful thing -- rather, I see it as one of many examples of Christians working to redeem the culture they find themselves in.

Jeremy said...

I haven't decided if I'm going to watch the game tonight. I'll probably be preparing for class tomorrow--I will begin the process of taking my students on the harrowing journey that is Aristotelian metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Anyway, it's good to see that regardless of distance, B.Jay and Dr. G can still get into it (a la History of Philosophy II). Beyond that, Dr. G is right--spending time with the Tornado is a whole lot more entertaining than a football game.

john alan turner said...

I plan on watching the Super Bowl while ghostwriting a book and talking loudly on my cell phone.

Ed Darrell said...

Over at the Disciples list-serv, commenters are tallying just how many services made no mention at all of the game.

But this is Texas, and that means football really is religion for others.

Will you condemn on this blog attempts to get the courts to okay praying at football games, too? There might be some good possible in your Quixotic campaign after all.

BJS said...

good to see your thoughts on the "super-duper bowl" from Uganda.

By the way, the Saltimboca was a big hit. Let me know if you want the recipe (it's my own... so you should use it with caution).

Glad to see you agree with me that football is an exciting sport to watch (even though it is currently bogged down in silly consumerism). Don't worry though, you didn't miss much of a superbowl this year. The most exiciting thing was definitely Cowher's chin. That and a goofy trick play by Randel-El and Ward.

Our get together with friends went well. We all had fun. Sure, the backdrop may have been the evil superbowl, but the backdrop to J.C.'s work was the evil Roman Empire... right?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Over at my blog, for whatever it's worth I have links to both of Dr. Groothuis' posts on football, as well as my own post.


Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

The resurrection rescheduled the Sabbath!