Category Archives: sports

Johan Cruyff died

The great soccer player Johan Cruyff from the Netherlands died yesterday at age 68; the cause was lung cancer, as he had been a heavy smoker. One of the greats of all times, including winning the Ballon d’Or three times. I am off on an all-day sightseeing trip, so I won’t go over his many […]

Google Doodle from India

This Doodle (click screenshot to go to page), has been up in India for at least two days: Well, you know what that means: something’s going on with the national sport. And if you click on the Doodle on the original page, it goes here: a webpage giving the ICC World Twenty20 cricket scores.  Don’t ask […]

News of the Day: I. Pakistani cricket player given legal notice for saying he’s more popular in India than in Pakistan

This reminds me of the furor that erupted when John Lennon proclaimed that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. That was in 1966, but it caused such a kerfuffle—one I well remember—that it has its own Wikipedia page. You wouldn’t believe how pissed off religious America was! A similar fracas is brewing in Pakistan, […]

Hindu blasphemy: cricketer M. S. Dhoni in trouble for posing as Vishnu

We usually think of “blasphemy” as a crime committed against Islam, but it’s also a crime to mock religion in many places. Those include India, where people have been prosecuted for “insulting” Catholicism and Hinduism. And remember the three people jailed in Myanmar for advertising an event at a bar with a poster of Buddha wearing headphones? That violated that […]

Soccer game in Turkey turns bad

This saddens me immensely. I’ve been to Turkey four times, love the country and its people, and, until recentlyat least, saw the country as inhabited by moderate Muslims living under a largely secular government (Ataturk is one of my heroes). And yet the Erdoğan government is turning the country back into a theocracy, and many inhabitants are […]

Does God take sides?

A strip from Pearls before Swine by Stephan Pastis: Remember that 27% of Americans—and 38% of white evangelical Protestants—believe that God plays a role in determining who wins sporting events. And 50% of Americans approve when athletes publicly thank God during a sporting event (only 8% disapprove). This strip merely shows what happens when you […]

Some success from the FFRF campaign to get public universities to stop paying football chaplains

UPDATE: Just in from PuffHo, an unbelievable occurrence. Praying coach Joe Kennedy, mentioned at the end of the piece below, has been placed on leave for refusing to obey the directive not to pray on the field—after a student asked a Satanist to given an invocation on the field. “The school district needs to create religious opportunity […]

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 […]


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