Friday, September 05, 2008

Football as Scripture

I have often used football as an analogy to life, or used certain aspects of the game in my sermons and worn a striped clerical shirt (a gift from a dear friend) once a year on the high holy feast day of St. Vincent.

As I was reviewing the rules, it occurred to me that the Rules Book can be a whole lot like scripture -- at least in certain places. Compare the following "passages":

If each team fouls during a down in which there is a change of team possession and the play does not have a post-scrimmage kick foul, the team last gaining possession may retain the ball . . . In this case, the team that was not last in possession has no penalty options until the team last in possession has made its penalty decision on the fouls prior to the change of possession. After that decision by the team last in possession, the team not last in possession may decline or accept the foul by the team last in possession or choose which foul to have enforced in the case that the team last in possession committed more than one foul following the change.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

The basic spot is the 20-yard line for fouls by either team when the opponent of the team in possession at the time of the foul is responsible for forcing the ball across the goal line of the team in possession, and the related run ends in the end zone and is followed by a loose ball, regardless of where the loose ball becomes dead.

Is this blessedness, then, pronounced only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We say, ‘Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.’ How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Just so you know, there's not a single Paul on the Rules Committee.


David | 6:44 PM, September 05, 2008  

This is GREAT!
As someone who made the only A in "Refereeing Football and Basketball" in college (I was a Coaching Major), I do remember how convoluted the football rules can be.
I love the comparison!

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