If there's anything more satisfying than a clean, well-organized home, it's a winning football team. My husband doesn't even notice when I straighten the silverware drawer or sort his socks by color. Even if he does detect my handiwork, he doesn't get up and cheer.
But a winning football team evokes elation and excitement. People whoop spontaneously. While football doesn't bring organization to a household, what with all the chips 'n' dip trays and men throwing sofa cushions, it does bring a fair amount of joy.
That's why prayer is so important to the game. Despite what my mother says, that God doesn't care about football or which team wins, I disagree.
Roll your eyes, Mama, but circumstantial evidence suggests that he not only cares, he might even take sides. In fact, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if I get to heaven and find out that God keeps orange-and-blue pom-poms stashed under his golden throne.
Blasphemy you say? If God pulls for Florida he never would have let the great, invincible, too-good-to-be-true, nearly immortal Tim Tebow sustain a concussion in that blowout against Kentucky?
The Tim Tebow incident happens to be the basis for my conviction about God's interest in football. You see, even though God likely goes for the Gators, he is still God. He still has his job to do in guiding mortals to humility. He has to remind folks now and again that he loves us all the same. And he often uses hard knocks to teach big lessons. He couldn't let Tebow go on thinking he's a super-human, chosen-one forever; thus the concussion.
And that's where I get the impression that God is a Gator fan. God protected Tebow from his unavoidable fate until the Gators had decidedly whipped the Wildcats. AND, he ensured Tebow would have ample recovery time by scheduling the injury the Saturday before an off-weekend. Why should Florida's record suffer just because Tebow needs to get his comeuppance?
Sure, they had to face LSU after an idle Saturday, but, like I said, God still does his job, even in football season. Character building never hurt a soul.
Florida first caught God's eye when the state began attracting retirees to its sunny shores, becoming God's official waiting room and a hotspot for serious on-the-knees prayer.
But I believe if the power of prayer can work for a place like Florida, it can work for any SEC team. And if anyone has been praying lately, it's Georgia fans. I mean, the Dawgs have played so many cardiac arrest games this year, doubtlessly sending scads of men to do end-zone dances in emergency rooms all over the state, it's the perfect storm for a pick up in prayer.
And I'm hoping that since we're sending God more business this year, he'll have mercy on my team from here on out, so we can make a joyful noise to the Lord.
I'm afraid however, that God doesn't much care for that Gator Hater chant, and may count that against us, since he desires for us to love one another as he loves us, and as he loves the Florida Gators, of course.
(Lucy Adams, a syndicated columnist, lives in Thomson, GA. Readers can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her Web site, www.IfMama.com.)