The Sports Idolatry Quiz

I’ve been really busy with BlogRocket stuff this month, so I’m going to be reposting some older content once in a while. Hopefully it’s new to you. This post was originally written for Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like blog.

Being born and raised in Massachusetts means you’ve got 3 things in your blood: platelets, midi-chlorians, and the Red Sox. Cheering on the Sox is a bond that runs through my entire family, so I’ve done my best to pass this love on to my two children in hopes it becomes another connection point in our lives.

If my kids do end up lifelong Red Sox fans, I realize the biggest reason will be that they’re always watching and taking their cues from me. Knowing this, I try to model the appropriate level of fandom for them in good times and in bad. I never want them to think it’s okay to take your fandom too far (see Football Fans, European).

The idea of balanced devotion applies to more than just sports, of course. Whether it’s the Red Sox or a favorite hobby, I don’t want my kids to get overly involved in anything that takes over their lives. The Bible calls this obsessive adoration for something other than God “idolatry”, and if you’re feeling guilty as you read this  it could be God telling you to back off of the sports thing for a bit. It could also be your spouse whispering subliminal messages in your ear while you sleep, so it’s best to pray about it. And sleep with earplugs.

I can’t specifically tell you if your love of sports is hurting your spiritual life, but I have however, created this quiz to help you determine if it’s time for you to take a time out from the world of sports. So turn off the game, grab a pencil, and answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following twenty-one questions.

The 21-Question Sports Idolatry Quiz

1. Have you named your kids, your dog, or your wife after players from your favorite team?

2. When you picture Satan, is he wearing the uniform of your hated rival?

3. Have you replaced your morning Bible devotions with daily readings and memorizations from the team media guide?

4. Have you ever prayed for forgiveness when an athlete on the opposing team sustained an injury because earlier that day you were praying for that exact injury to happen to him?

5. Have you ever used the sermon note section of your bulletin to write out potential starting lineups for your favorite team?

6. Have you been archiving these fake starting lineups in a locked, fireproof cabinet for the last ten years?

7. Are you the reason your pastor recently instituted a ban on sports prayers during altar calls?

8. Have you ever promised God that you’d tithe off of your fantasy sports winnings in hopes he would tweak the wind to help your kicker nail a 50+ yarder?

9. Do people at church avoid you like a leper after your team loses a big game?

10. Do people at church just avoid you in general?

11. Is your favorite thing about Easter Sunday remembering the resurrection of Jesus…EXCEPT when Easter happens to coincide with the final day of The Masters?

12. Do you have trouble getting into the spirit of the worship music unless you’re wearing your foam finger?

13. Have you ever brought your own communion glass to church, complete with team logo and “World’s Greatest Fan” etched onto the side?

14. Have you ever worn long-sleeved shirts to church to cover up the body paint?

15. Have you ever worn a ski mask for the same reason?

16. Does the team schedule taped to the inside of your Bible have more highlights and notes written on it than your Bible does?

17. Have you ever referred to ESPN as “religious programming”?

18. Have you ever considered painting your hated rival’s logo on the bottom of your toilet bowl to improve the overall bathroom experience?

19. Did you just read that last one and think, “Hey, that’s not a bad idea”?

20. Did you read Chad Gibbs’ God and Football hoping it would make you feel better about your obsessive behavior?

21. Have you ever turned to the Book of Numbers hoping to find ERA and WHIP statistics for Moses?


If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, I suggest you put the body paint and foam finger away for a few weeks and try reading a book. Honestly, you’re dangerously close to finding yourself on the bottom of one of those crazy soccer riots.

And while we’re here, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done as a fan?

Don’t worry, as long as if doesn’t involve poisoning sacred Oak trees this is a safe place to confess.

PS…I did an interview with Jason Boyett about BlogRocket today, check it out!

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  • http://www.joerob.com Joseph

    4 – I’ve never prayed for specific injuries, but I have been known to wish out loud that the stadium would fall down when the Mets play the Phillies, but that no one would be hurt. Or that they would tie every game and in a stunning decision the MLB home office would just give both teams a loss whenever they played each other.

    5 – No for my favorite team, but yes for my fantasy team.

    19 – Guilty as charged.

  • Cameron

    1. Have you named your kids, your dog, or your wife after players from your favorite team?

    No, but I have a dog named Tozer so that should give me a free pass on one of other questions.

    4. Have you ever prayed for forgiveness when an athlete on the opposing team sustained an injury because earlier that day you were praying for that exact injury to happen to him?

    I’ll take that free pass here. Made me giddy like a school girl when Tom Brady went down. I didn’t pray for it, but I called it cause Belicheat took him off the injury report.

    5. Have you ever used the sermon note section of your bulletin to write out potential starting lineups for your favorite team?

    I have changed my fantasy football lineup during meet and greet.

    8. Have you ever promised God that you’d tithe off of your fantasy sports winnings in hopes he would tweak the wind to help your kicker nail a 50+ yarder?

    Not this specific, but yes, I do pray for fantasy outcomes. (And be prepared in our baseball league because I pray alot!)

    9. Do people at church avoid you like a leper after your team loses a big game?

    Used to be really bad about the Dolphins losing (thus my hatred of Tom Brady…see #4), but then I got used to them losing…

    Now my wife cannot stand to be in the room if my fantasy football team is losing…really she doesn’t like it when I’m winning either because my ego grows exponentially.

    19. Did you just read that last one and think, “Hey, that’s not a bad idea”?

    Yes…

  • http://www.elizabethbirak.com Elizabeth Birak

    Guilty as charged. I’ve got a problem with using football for sermon illustration (in a church full of Canadians, who mostly have no idea what I’m talking about). I’m trying to make the transition to hockey, but hockey just isn’t as great.

    And yes, I do picture Satan in a Michigan uniform.

  • http://iamlazarus2010.blogspot.com Lazarus

    I don’t know the scoring to see if I passed or failed this quiz. And what is passing? Is failing this cool? so many questions!

    AWESOME STUFF!

  • http://180tampa.com Jerry White

    1. Pretty close. I did name my first born son “Easton” after my favorite hockey stick. And since that company has taken their awesomeness into my other favorite sports, like dirtbike handlebars, mountain bike frames and now lacrosse sticks, I think that was a pretty genius decision on my part 16 years ago. Not to mention I have the coolest wife in the world. How about those 100 or so kids named ESPN??
    #17 & #19–Pure genius on your part.

  • http://www.spiritualmusclehead.blogspot.com Josh

    hmmm.. midichlorians and orange and blue seem to be in my blood. Some black and white, but I’m not a big Sox fan as I am a Bears fan. I just wish my midichlorian count was high enough where I could just wave my fingers and Jay Cutler would finish out a game. I also had problems having to preach the same day as the Bears play offs.

    Here’s one for you. I had a funeral visitation/wake on the evening of the Super Bowl. The funeral director was giving us all updates from his phone. Now that’s obsessed! And half the grieving family was back there with him getting the updates!!

  • http://www.bestfinance-blog.com LynetteVargas20

    When you’re in the corner and have got no cash to go out from that point, you will need to take the loan. Because it should aid you emphatically. I take secured loan every year and feel OK just because of it.