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Jan '05

God HATES the Seahawks

I don’t believe that God cares about sports. I know, thousands of NFL fans in Greenbay now want me dead just for making a statement like that, but I really believe it’s true. I do believe that God cares about the people playing the sports. Cares doesn’t even come close. Does he care about the outcome of the games? I really don’t think he does. I have however come to the conclusion that God does care about the Seattle Seahawks. In fact, I will even go so far as to say that it may be God’s will that the Seahawks not get past the first round of the playoffs.

That’s Blasphemy
How can a Bible believing Seattleite like myself even entertain this blasphemy? I believe the feelings I experienced today as the Seahawks lost in the last 20 seconds to the St. Louis Rams echoed hundreds of thousands of Seattleites throughout the Northwest.

Before I explain, let me get two things straight. First, I am a Seattleite through and through. I was born and raised here with the exception of a short six year stint in Idaho (something I’ve come to liken to Israel’s exile to Babylon). I absolutely LOVE Seattle. Second I love Seattle sports. It is that love of Seattle sports though that leads me to my feelings that God has a hand in the sports success of Seattle teams.

History Shows it
History may be on my side too. Take for example the 1993 Seattle Sonics. For the entire season the Sonics had the best record in Basketball. Not even Michael Jordan himself could stop the regular season Sonics. They were dominant. Then in the first round of the Playoffs, they lose to a wretched Denver Nuggets team.

Take for example the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Maybe the best baseball team in the history of baseball. In 6 months a team that was never expected to do much of anything rose to the top of baseball and found a place in baseball history when they won 116 games. It was a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the early 1900’s. That year the Mariners won their division by like 25 or 30 games. They were a cinch to be the world champions. The only things standing in their way were the New York Yankees. The Mariners made it all the way to game seven of the AL Championship. They were one game away from the World Series. Then…they chocked. The Yankees knocked them out in the final inning.

The Year of the Seahawks
So what does that have to do with the Seattle Seahawk’s loss to the Rams? As I watched in the Seahawks drop the game in the final few seconds, I began to think to myself, “I knew this would happen…it always does to Seattle teams.” I was defeated. So I did what any good Seattleite did…I took a walk. As I walked around my Greenlake neighborhood I began to wrestle with the theological implications of what I just watched. Theological implications? Yes. I began to ask myself if God himself was against the Seahawks. God himself? How else can you explain the fact that for the first time in my lifetime the Seahawks biggest problems were not a terrible quarterback, a bad coach, or owners that were hoping to lose so they could ship them off to Southern California.? In fact, this was supposed to be the year of the Seahawk. More than one writer picked the Seahawks to go all the way to the Super Bowl just four short months ago. Matt Hasselback has found his rhythm and leadership. We picked up Jerry Rice. Sean Alexander…Sean Alexander; Need I say more? Sean missed the NFL Rushing Title by only one yard! With chemistry like this how could the Seahawks lose? I still don’t know. But they did. In losing, they destroyed the hopes and dreams of Seattle sports fans everywhere.

But Why?
The question that occurred to me shortly after figuring that God must not want the Seahawks to win was: why? Why would God, the creator of the universe care about the Seahawks? The only answer I can offer is this: It is not the outcome of the game that God cares about but the people wrapped up in the game and it’s outcome. Maybe the reason that God doesn’t want the Seahawks to “go all the way” is because he wants to reveal the true heart of Seattleites. What is the true heart of Seattleites? I believe it is one founded in cynicism. Seattleites are very cynical people. Cynical when it comes to politics (just look at our recent gubernatorial election). Cynical when it comes to business (we all drink our Starbucks then call them “the man” on our way out the door). Cynical when it comes to religion. And I believe God may be revealing our cynicism in an area that really hurts: professional sports. Why is it that we as a city are so cynical when it comes to eternal things like God and Jesus but every September we really think the Seahawks might make it this year? Why is it that Seattleites think religion is for the foolish but we are foolish enough to put our hopes in a baseball team that has NEVER been to a World Series? Why? Because we are cynics; and cynics have a tendency to be irrational. So irrational that it will take some unusual methods to reveal our own hearts to us.

The season is over for the Seahawks, but in the Sonics are in full swing and the Mariners are only four months away. Seem like an unlikely method of speaking to people? I bet Balaam thought it unusual when his donkey spoke up too.

Until next year…Go Hawks!

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