Because of the child abuse scandal at Penn State, many people are recognizing that college sports is a religion – with all the negatives that religion brings.
Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News writes about the church of football. Roy Peter Clark at CNN writes “You hear it all the time: ‘Football is a religion in Pennsylvania’ (Or Texas or Florida).” Scoop Jackson of ESPN says that even in the wake of this tragedy, “To many of us, [college sports] is still a religion.”
What is the difference between the institutional church trying to keep revelations of child abuse from interfering with the success of the church and college sports doing the same for itself? Both are religions, subordinating the interests of the weak in order to guarantee the preservation of the religion. Like any religion, college sports seeks self-preservation of itself and its leaders above all else.
Like any religion, college sports is not all bad. It offers many benefits, albeit all worldly and temporal ones: excitement, glory, success. Therefore, given the nature of fallen man, it is not puzzling why so many people worship at this altar. What is puzzling is why so many who claim allegiance to Christ can be found among them.