Young Bill Young here, back from a short vacation. Thanks to Kitty for keeping the blog rolling with great posts on her lack of power, Joss Whedon’s latest, and a call-out to Carolyn Leonard, certainly one of the best friends of writers and genealogists in our great state.
Occasionally, I come across a book that I have no intention of reading, but one that I think would make the perfect Okie Read. Such is the case with Chad Gibbs‘ work God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC.
OK, before you go all Big 12 on me, think about it: Oklahoma is a religious state, and Okies love their football more than the best sliced bread ever baked. I’m sure we can compete with the best of the SEC when it comes to the number of folks who alternate their weekend worship between the football field and local church pew.
And Gibbs is really on to something here. In writing the book, he wanted to talk to fanatical football fans who were also Christians to find out how they balance these two areas of interest. Count how many Oklahomans you know who spend their weekends with football and God. Right. You don’t have enough hands, do you?
It’s possible the SEC folk are little more fantatical than the Big 12 folk. I base this on how fans of the two conferences show their disdain for the opposing teams. For example, OU Sooner fans offer up an upside down Hook ‘em Horns sign to show their dislike of the Texas Longhorns, while SEC fans regularly yell “Go to Hell Ole Miss, Go to Hell!” when their teams take on the University of Mississippi.
The level of football fanaticism aside, I suspect there is much relatable fodder here for many Okies.
So, why am I not reading this book? I’ll tell you a brief and painless story. I used to follow the University of Oklahoma Sooners. OU is my alma mater, and my father has followed the team since the glory days of Bud Wilkinson. But there was a big problem: if the Sooners lost their Saturday match-up, my weekend was ruined. A funk descended upon me, and Sunday didn’t seem as bright as it should. At some point in my twenties, I decided not to have the perceived success of my weekend dependent on the outcome of a gridiron game.
But many of my friends continue to follow their Cowboys or Sooners, basking in the glory of the gridiron. And then, the next day, they put on their Sunday best, pick up their Bible, and bask in the glory of God.
There be more…
Chad Gibbs has a small group study guide for God and Football.
Here’s Chad’s blog where you can also connect to him via Twitter or Facebook.
More on Chad and from Chad courtesy of beliefnet.