Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Those Soulless Referees

Raider's cornerback Chris Johnson was flagged on Sunday after he intercepted a pass, fell to his knees and thanked God.

Raider conspiracy theorists believe he was flagged because he was wearing a Raiders uniform. Some Christians believe this is just another example of Christian persecution. However, the trouble with the persecution angle is that you can't really tell that he is praying to Jesus. Instead, he could have been praising Zoroaster or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. And really, it looks more like he was asking people to praise Chris Johnson.

While the video is still available on-line, you can judge for yourself:

Referees may or may not have souls, but they were at least correct to call the penalty. There's a rule against celebrating in the end zone by dropping to your knees or using the ball as a prop. Call it a Raider-hating, Christian-persecuting rule, but they applied it correctly.

As it happens, I think they should outlaw prayer and/or thanks to God during a game. I think it is unsportsmanlike of God to determine the outcome of specific plays, and it's unsportsmanlike of players to request such a thing. The penalty should be greater than 15 yards too, since the effect of God overturning free will to favor one side is likely much greater than a 15 yard advantage.

However, the grief refs are getting for this reminds me of one of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits, where John Goodman is on The Referee Pitman Show (of which no video seems to be available):

Host: Okay. Next question for the Ref.
Audience Member: Hi. Great show, Ref. My boy and I were wondering what it's like for you to have no soul. And also, what do you use to fill up your body where the soul would be? Now, is that human excrement, or dog excrement?
Ref: [chuckles] I wish I had a dime for every time I was asked that one!


Fingtree said...

"Many baseball fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile."
-- Christy Mathewson

Tim said...

Penalizing God for helping out a sports team? Great idea!

Sounds like Timicism is having an effect on you. :)