Friday, December 19, 2008

Week 16 - Prayer

When I played youth league soccer, the coach designated me as the official leader of the pregame prayer. I can’t recall why this ritual started. Miami is not what you call a particularly religious community (Santeria being the exception). Just all of a sudden, in mid season, the coach decided it would be a good idea.

The team would huddle in a circle and we all bowed our heads. I would recite some short prayer I recalled from Mass, Nick our midfielder would fart, everyone would giggle, and we concluded with an “Amen” that was screamed so as to intimidate the other team. At the time, I thought it was silly, but I now realize what that coach lacked in actual coaching technique he made up for by being a trend setter in sport.

Flash forward a “few” years and now prayer is as much a part of the game as the Gatorade shower. The players pray before the game. They huddle up to pray after the game. They praise God in the post game interview (except after losing.) Today our football games are so full of prayer that after watching them I feel the urge to renew my catechistic vows.

Since speaking to God has become such a big part of the game, I have become the world’s first sports prayerologist. Being a specialist in the area of heavenly beseeching, I’ll give you insight on a few of this weekend’s pregame prayers. This is privileged information known only by the teams, God and the NSA.

By Tony Romo- “Please Lord, have Ray Lewis put me out of my misery so I no longer endure the constant bickering from the women in my life- Jessica and T.O.”

By the Dolphins- “Seriously Lord, what you’ve done for us this season after what we went through last year, we got nothing to ask. Okay, maybe one thing - unload Joey Porter’s gun.”

By the 49ers- “Lord, let us play better because we cannot bear to see any more parts of Coach Singletary’s bare anatomy.”

By Andy Reid- “Lord, let us win this game and play hard…hard…hard. Hardee’s. Hardee’s burgers. Lord, let there be a Hardee’s near the stadium.”

Combined prayer of Browns, Bengals, Rams, Chiefs and Seahawks- “Lord, send us back in time to an era when the season was only 14 games long.”

By the Cardinals- “Lord, we really don’t want to play in this weather. And since we really don’t need this game, would we go to hell if we just forfeited?”

By the Lions- “Please God, let us win one game. Going 0-16 would be like getting a sports STD with no amount of penicillin that will remove it.”

Below are my picks for Week 16. (Note: Pray before use)

Ravens +4.5 at Cowboys
Steelers at Titans +2
Dolphins at Chiefs +3.5
Cardinals at Patriots -7.5
Bengals +2.5 at Browns
Eagles at Redskins +4.5
49ers -5.5
at Rams
Falcons at Vikings -3.5
Saints at Lions +7
Panthers +3.5 at Giants
Jets at Seahawks +5
Texans -7 at Raiders
Bills +7 at Broncos
Chargers at Bucs -4
Packers at Bears -5

Thursday 0-1

Last Week 4-9-3
Season 112-105-7

Heavenly Picks
Pats/Cardinals Under 44.5
Lions +7 over Saints
Buffalo +7 over Broncos
Seahawks +5 over Jets
Bucs -4 over Chargers

Last week 1-1-1
Season 26-23-4

No comments: