The Independent Newsweekly
|Today's Take: NCR's daily Web column|
|Each weekday over the course of a week, a member of the NCR staff offers a commentary on one or more topics in the news. It's our way of introducing you to some of the people carrying out the NCR mission of faith and justice based journalism.|
|July 18, 2003||
Vol. 1, No. 72
God gets all the credit
By Tom Roberts, NCR editor
You've seen it before, the multi-million dollar athlete who's just performed some outrageous feat that makes it unmistakably clear why he and his ilk are where they are and the rest of us are looking in from the other side of the small screen, and then it's time for the post-game blather and the player steps up and says, "God gets all the credit."
Yeah, but?? I mean, you just went behind the back, crossed over with one hand, took off on a 43-inch vertical leap and slammed over two seven footers and that was God?
Interviewers, of course, don't say that. They politely listen to the jock humility and usually end up asking how the star "feels" about winning the championship. And things quickly degenerate into "team effort," "we just left it all" on the floor/field/court/whatever and on and on.
Young St. Louis Cardinals phenom Albert Pujols falls into the all-the-credit-to-God category, a theologically defensible position, I suppose, to a point. But in one of the cleverest bits of writing I've seen in a long time on God and fate and God's role in our greatness and failings, writer Dan Le Batard conjures up an interview with the Almighty about the young slugger in the July 21 issue of ESPN The Magazine (the interviewer is abbreviated as MAG)
Le Batard is just getting started. It gets better, funnier and more complex. And his God doesn't have too many Calvinist tendencies. This God will help, sure, but it's clever mystery as to exactly how and when.
Check it out if you want to mix your baseball with a bit of down-to-earth metaphysical musing.
I can testify, by the way, that God is not spending any overtime time in the eastern reaches of Missouri this baseball season. The real miracle is happening on the western edge of the state, where the small-market Kansas City Royals, as of this writing, are in first place in the American League Central, 11 games over .500.
Tom Roberts e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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