Thank you Aaron Rodgers! The Green Bay QB gave a great answer to a question he was asked on his weekly radio show a few days ago during a “mailbag answer” segment. Here’s the exchange:

(Radio Host) Jason Wilde: Melissa says: I always find it a little off-putting when athletes, actors, and anybody says, “This is what God wanted” or “I want to thank God for helping us win today” — anything along those lines when a game or award is won. I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the gist. Personally, with all the chaos in the world, I’m not sure God really cares about the outcome of a game or an awards show. What do you think of statements such as these? You’ve obviously got your faith. Does what happens on Sunday impact your relationship with God or your faith at all?

Aaron Rodgers: I agree with her. I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.

I’m hesitant to guess how much God feels personally invested in a final score, but if I was asked to, I’d have to agree with Rodgers. The question likely came in response to Seattle QB Russell Wilson’s recent interview with, following his team’s improbable but successful comeback against Rodger’s Packers this past Sunday. “That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special,” Wilson said. To be fair, if Wilson were asked point blank if God cares who wins football games, he’d say “of course not”. At the heart of his comments is perhaps the simple notion that God is the author of dramatic, special, and good things.


This is not a new conversation. Football players were Tebowing in the end zone long before Tim Tebow was born. Players have been inferring that God influences game outcomes for years, but I’ve never sensed that any player (if pressed) would stick by the inference. To a man, they clarify “well, I’m not saying that God wanted us to win and them to lose, obviously He helps players on both teams”. So what are they saying? They’re likely just expressing a “#blessed” out loud in all of the well-meaning but misguided ways that Sarah Condon so perfectly pointed out here. Admittedly, I cringed at Wilson’s statement, but I didn’t take it to mean that he thinks that the Almighty is a Seahawks’ fan (He’s gotta like those shoes though!).

That said, the Melissas out there are so much more interesting to me than the Russell Wilsons. We’ve heard Melissa’s words before, “Personally, with all the chaos in the world, I’m not sure God really cares about the outcome of a game”. So apparently, God’s so busy putting out fires that He couldn’t possibly delight in watching us play? Did Russell Wilson’s ‘God shout-out’ result in Melissa coming to an unhealthy conclusion about who God is?

Is this why I find myself often so quick to react with frustration to an athlete’s “playing the God card”? Because it does bug me. I suppose there’s a part of me that thinks that I need to leap to God’s defense. God’s too busy with all the chaos in the world to have to come in behind Russell Wilson and clean up the silly things he just said. Hang on. Did I just sound like Melissa?