If God is so central to football, why do NFL players die so young?

CJ Werleman, Alternet (Jan. 31) – A NEW STUDY conducted by the Public Research Institute found that 50 per cent of Americans think God will determine the winner of Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The NFL and Jesus have become practically synonymous in this country. Teams hold prayer circles before, during, and after games. The NFL is among the most fervently religious sectors of American life. On any given Sunday you’ll hear players claiming, “God was with me today” or “I give thanks to God for our victory.” Prayer and praise of the Lord Almighty is not confined to the game’s participants, either. PRRI found that more than 25% of Americans pray to God specifically to help their team.

Some highlights from the survey include:

  • One-in-four (25%) Americans who report being a fan of a particular team believe that their team has been cursed at some point in time.
  • Roughly 1-in-5 (21%) American sports fans report performing a ritual before or while watching their favorite team.

The best finding in the study was that, “One fan reports that he wears “a dirty pair of underwear … over my pants and then I put my jersey on.” While that’s not specifically a ritual tied to Christianity, it is no less absurd than praying for divine intervention.

…. So are truly faithful NFL players rewarded with success on the field?

  • The Broncos and Seahawks teams have an equal number of Christians.
  • The average life expectancy of the American male is 78 years.
  • The NFL players association says the average life expectancy of an NFL player is 58 years old.
  • The suicide rate of NFL players is 6-times the national average.
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