Sunday, November 27, 2005


or What Some Folks Do on Sunday Morning

My Dad came to visit Karen and I last weekend. He has wanted for a while now to come down and see some "Real American Football," so we got tickets to see both The Big Game on Saturday and the 49ers game on Sunday. And yes, we did see some Real American Football.

The games were great fun to watch, but what was even more fun for me, an inveterate people-watcher and eavesdropper, was the human drama. I learned that Real American Football is certainly about football. But it is about more than this, too. It is about friends, food, beer, and love of country. This was true at both games.

But when we got to Monster Park on Sunday for the 49ers game, I wasn't at church, but Sunday was on my mind. Why are people here and not church?

The answer is easy. Church is religion. But football is life.

For me, Karen, and my Dad, we were having a fun day at the ballpark. But the superfans had been at the parck since 8:30am. They were celebrating in tail-gate setups that had nicer furniture than some of my old apartments. One tailgate had a bigger bar than any place I've ever lived in. And the fans were friendly, too. When we mentioned that we were from Canada, we were welcomed with sausage and cookies.

There was even a liturgical sensibility to the whole event. How could I say that most people don't like a nice procession, after now having seen a home-crowd go crazy with their home-team running onto their field? We even heard a decent "sermon" by Steve Young after he was presented with his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at half-time, on the greatness of being a Bay Area boy and playing for the 49ers. Chills were had by most, I imagine.

This brings me to the picture above: Godzilla in a 49ers shirt, and the mascot of the first tailgate party we crashed. I kid you not, they called the mascot "Godzero."

I hesitate to think too long about what exactly that implies. You be the judge.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm amused, and a little bit chagrined, by the comparisons you draw between religion and sports fandom. I've been to a couple of live NFL games -- in Green Bay, Wisconsin; my husband and I are Packers fans -- and your assertions ring quite true according to what I've seen there...

Not sure what one does about that, if one is in our line of work! :-)

Sunday, December 04, 2005 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Preston said...

Well, it's probably a kind of Augustinian reflection, really. All humans are always religious. However, it is only in God that we find our rest. Until then, all our pursuits outside of that will have a religious flavor, and will evidence that desire for God.

In this case, even when God is said to have scored no points at all, it does mean that God is on the playing field.

I hope this isn't read as a diatribe against sports. I am, after all, a serious enough A's fan to take a trip to Anaheim in order to se the beloved green and gold play in Angel stadium!

And I really miss those Grey Cup (the holy grail of the Canadian Football League) parties with the Carlson's in Winnipeg and Domain.

Sunday, December 04, 2005 12:22:00 PM  

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