First and Ten Corinthians (God’s Memo to Athletes)
God: “Prayers in hospitals? Okay, I get that — not that I listen much. Way too depressing. But prayers in the Superdome? It’s enough to drive me bat-shit bonkers. Sort of like living next to the train tracks, the noise and vibration never stop.”
To: Athletes Around the World
I beg all of you. Please stop.
When one of you catches a touchdown pass, stop thanking me.
Seriously, do you think I spend my entire Sunday afternoon watching the Browns-Titans game? What do you think I am — some kind of sick sadist?
I’ve got earthquakes to plan, tornadoes to unleash, wars to schedule, and horrible biological viruses to create. I’ve got more than enough on my plate already without having to take your phone calls pleading with me all the time. It’s enough to wear a god completely out. Man, I’m famished.
Call me what I truly am — an effervescent couch potato. I’d much rather sit by and do absolutely nothing while heads get decapitated by some of my most loyal admirers who openly exploit my name for their own political causes. I passively watch and do nothing other than feigning minor interest because my name gets mentioned. Doesn’t that make you wonder about how much I truly care? Think of it another way. If I fail to intervene and put a stop to those horrors, do you really think I’ll interpose my divine powers to cure Auntie’s cancer or allow Browns’ wide receiver Taylor Gabriel to catch a touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer late in the fourth quarter to beat Tennessee?
All this senseless praying upon gridirons and pitches and diamonds and courts and racetracks upon the vastness of planet earth must cease immediately. Prayers in hospitals? I get that — not that I listen much. Way too depressing. But prayers in the Superdome? It’s enough to drive me bat-shit bonkers. Sort of like living next to the train tracks, the noise and vibration never stop.
Besides, it’s not fair. Does my counterpart Satan have to put up with any of this? I seriously doubt it. From what I’ve heard, he gets to have all the fun. He attends orgies. He hangs out in bars and casinos, tempting people to sin. He was even there in the recording studio when Mick Jaggar laid down the vocals for “Sympathy for the Devil.” Talk about a sweet gig. How do I apply for that position?
Instead, I get stuck with the shit job. Do you think being the “go-to” guy for the Grace Baptist Church Junior Ladies Choir is something I’m looking forward to each week? Holy Christ, have ever you heard them sing? It’s like hammering a rusty nail into your hand. Talk about a raw deal. Come to think of it — I want to renegotiate my contract. Right now. Get CMA on Line 1, pronto.
Let’s discuss this prayer thing in stadiums and arenas, shall we? Before the game starts, you shoot me a prayer. Before you step into the batter’s box, you cross yourself and mumble my name. You wear a necklace with the torture device on it (by the way — what idiot chose such a dreaded symbol of supreme suffering and anguish to define an entire religion?). Then, when you do something really cool, like hitting a home run or scoring the winning goal, you point up towards the heavens up at me while thousands cheer. And finally, if you win the ball game, I’m the one who’s responsible and gets the glory. You even thank me publicly.
Hey, people. Haven’t you figured things out yet? I really don’t give a shit. It doesn’t matter to me if Alabama wins the National Championship, or if Bubba Watson makes that four-foot putt. I don’t give a fuck. Want conclusive proof? I stood by and watched 60 million people die in World War II. That was kinda’ interesting. So, you now think I’m going to intercede and let the goalkeeper in the Chelsea game make the winning save?
It’s really nice of you to think about me and include me so often. Maybe I can reciprocate by updating your file at the “Pearly Gates” Branch Office. I’ll text St. Peter right away. Since my ego got fellated again, I’ll do what I can for you. Then again on second thought, it’s not like you’re special. I’m the object of idolization something like 5,655,810,3048 times a day. It’s gotten so bad that my prayer request software is crashing, especially when the Powerball jackpot gets really big.
By now, don’t you realize I don’t give a flying crucifix about humanity, fairness, or the state of the world? I don’t care! You’re a molecule within a zit. That’s about the level of seepage your prayerful plea pulls with me. Think of a gnat pulling a freight train. That’s the chance you got of swaying me. I haven’t worked a divine miracle in something like 4,000 years. Okay, so maybe I jacked with the laws of probability a little bit when Jamie Gold won the WSOP. But that was it. If I paid serious attention to all the prayers of humanity don’t you think I would have done something a very long time ago for the cause of justice? Look at it this way — I sat by and did nothing to stop Gandhi and Martin Luther King from taking bullets in the gut. Yet Donald Trump is still breathing and a billionaire with his own hit television show. Get the picture, now?
Here, let me spell it out for you.
When you drop to your knees and say a prayer to me for catching that touchdown pass or scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, it’s very likely that I’m occupied with other thoughts. I’ve got lots on my plate right now. Not just here on earth, but like a trillion other planets, too. Just six minutes ago, a solar burst wiped out a billion aliens living on the planet Alpha Cerius 23912. So, I’ve got that to deal with. On top of that, many of you abuse your prayer privileges. When 1.3 billion Muslims pray to me five times a day, do the math. That really clogs my system. I’m thinking of hiring a personal assistant to field all the prayers. Unfortunately, everyone I’ve contacted from Craig’s List seems to be a scammer.
As for athletes, don’t you see my dilemma? If I answer the wide receiver’s prayers and let him score a touchdown, how am I to explain things to the defensive back, and his mother, and his wife, and his coach — all who prayed to me before the game with equal veracity? What does he get from me, an apology along with a free car wash?
It should be very clear to everyone by now that not only do I not I listen to prayers — including all those dying innocent billions, not to mention other forms of life which bequeath my utter indifference — I most certainly will not intervene in the flow of sporting events.
But there are exceptions. I admit things get boring up here in heaven sometimes. How many choirs can you listen to before you say, “enough?” How many nuns can you welcome to the reception before you start calling in sick? I mean, we don’t even serve booze in the Popes’ Lounge.
My real jollies come from screwing the sports gamblers, tempting the rich athletes with vices, and ruining pro careers with knee injuries. Now that’s what I call fun.
Go ahead and pray all you want. If I didn’t listen to those who were far more deserving, do you honestly think your words will sway me?
Please. Stop the prayers. It reveals me to be what I am, which is indifferent. You’re making me look bad, and yourself look worse.
Yours Truly (well, not really),