'You Trying to Say Jesus Christ Can't Hit a Curveball?' - Christianity Today Magazine

'You Trying to Say Jesus Christ Can't Hit a Curveball?' - Christianity Today Magazine: "But money isn't what peeves many fans the most. Few fans say anything bad about Sweeney's religious life when he's picking up RBIs. Yet as the feeble swings and losses mount, critics emerge from the woodwork to belittle him. Some ridicule him by wondering why Jesus doesn't save him from slumps. It's not uncommon to hear fans mockingly respond by reciting a line from the movie Major League: 'You trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?'

Others resent his devotion to faith and family, and complain that he should commit himself to nothing but baseball. During a poor team start a few years ago, even Sweeney's manager seemed to jab his best player. 'Chewing on cookies and eating milk and praying is not going to get it done,' former Royals manager Tony Muser said. 'I'd like them to go out and pound tequila … ' Muser soon apologized and said Sweeney is the kind of guy he'd be happy to have his daughter marry.

But is he the kind of guy you want to lead your ballclub? No matter their success, Christian athletes will probably never shake the ridiculous charge that faith undercuts their will to win. Curt Schilling barely dented the reputation by gutting through a bloody injury to pitch the Red Sox toward their first World Series title in ages. Kurt Warner earned two consecutive NFL MVP awards. Not a few fans rejoiced as injuries and squabbling felled Warner, the grocery bagger turned Super Bowl champion.

Near as I can tell, fans concerned about faith say that religion dilutes competitive drive and distracts athletes from concentrating on their job. This must stem from a misunderstanding of both sports and faith. It's not productive for athletes to eat, sleep, and drink sports. Whether it's Michael Jordan golfing and gambling or Mike Sweeney praying with his family, athletes need time away to clear their heads so they can refocus. Baseball especially requires time spent studying opponents, but thinking too much will handcuff a hitter when he needs to do his job—see the ball, hit the ball."


Joe said…
Uhh...I never found any reason to not make every effort to win (as long as it was legal and good sportsman-like), whether I was playing football, tennis, raquetball or whatnot.

I could beat you badly, smile, help you up, say, "Jesus loves you," and do it again.

Numerous references to sports and winning in scripture gave me encouragement.

See the ball, hit the ball...yep!

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