Category Archives: sports

Praying for your team to win: how does it work?

In January of last year I reported a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute showing that a sizable percentage of American sports fans think that supernatural intervention occurs in sporting contests (50%), pray to God to help their team (26%), think that their favorite team has sometimes been cursed (25%), and perform rituals (like […]

“Pray to Play”: Jesus-loving coaches and the pervasive religiosity of American college football

I’ve posted from time to time about the growing incursion of religion into American sports: especially football. And it’s often an illegal incursion, for in public universities and high schools, it’s a violation of the First Amendment—the one mandating separation of church and state—for a coach to enforce religion on his/her players, or to act […]

Today’s Google Doodle honors the Father of Surfing

We’ll skip readers’ photos for one day as, including this post, there are already three light items for this morning (and be sure to watch Matthew’s video of the World’s Greatest Cat Toy two posts down). When I saw today’s Google Doodle, I knew instantly who the honoree was. Yes, that handsome dude on the surfboard is […]

A funny email

A reader who will remain unnamed sent me an email that made me chuckle: I’m currently about half way through your Faith vs. Fact and finding it a most pleasurable experience to read something which is at once so authoritative and so totally in accord with everything I already believe about the relationship between science and religion. All the […]

Kudos to Arian Foster: the first active professional athlete in the U.S. to admit he’s an atheist

Two years ago I wrote about Arian Foster, a star running back for the Houston Texans football team, and discussed some advice he had written (and published) for his daughter. The telling item in “Six things I’ll try to teach my daughter” was the last: 6. The flying spaghetti monster. There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions […]

Anglo-American forces defeat Germany, Japan

by Greg Mayer No, it’s not a headline from the summer of 1945, but this weekend’s soccer news: the U.S. women’s national team beat Japan 5-2 to win the World Cup, while England bested Germany 1-0 to finish third in the tournament standings. The U.S., the sport’s traditional powerhouse, reasserted itself against Japan and, earlier […]

Squirrel dives into dugout at Phillies game

Speaking of baseball and squirrels, here’s a hapless squirrel diving from a wire into the dugout of the Philadelphia Phillies during a recent game. I hope the little guy wasn’t hurt. What’s funny is how crazy these big professional baseball players go, running for the hills, when the rodent lands among them. It’s just a […]

A visitor to Chicago

I have a visitor for much of this week: Adam King, the son of my best friend of yore, Kenny King, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in April of last year. The link in the previous sentence goes to my memoriam for Kenny, but now his son is passing through Chicago on his way back to Valencia, […]

Messi’s incredible goal

In yesterday’s Copa del Rey against Bilbao, Lionel Messi scored an unwordly goal, beating four defenders and helping give Barca a 3-1 victory. It reminded me of Maradona’s incredible goal against England in the 1986 World Cup, regarded as one of the greatest goals of all time. Messi’s is up there, too! Have a look: h/t: Randy

Islamic school soccer team refuses to play against a team having two girls—in Canada!

A report in City News, an online venue from Toronto, reports an example of insufferable bigotry—the kind of bigotry that one might think would not be tolerated in Canada. Except it was.  A Muslim high school in Toronto was playing football (the soccer kind) against a Catholic High school from Caledon.  The Muslim team complained because […]


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