And I can't help but think that the religious guys are, well, blessed with an advantage, a big one at that.
Actually, the issue isn't really religion. It's faith. I don't care what or whom a ballplayer believes in: Jesus, Moses, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard. I don't care what his position is on stem cell research, abortion, gay rights. But a system of belief — any system, really — that stills the mind and quells doubt is of obvious benefit, particularly if you're an athlete.
In this light, the writer argues that Warner's faith has allowed him to overcome the long odds - from grocery store clerk to Super Bowl MVP, from down-and-out backup to another chance at starting a Super Bowl. Money excerpt:
"It's an advantage for any individual, when you have faith and believe in something," Warner told our Greg Boeck Thursday after the Cardinals broke practice. "In my case, it's the power of Jesus ...
"I walk by faith and not by sight. I walk according to what I believe, and what I believe the power of God is, as opposed to what the world tells us, or what circumstances appear to be."
Put another way, belief can liberate you. You need not dwell on the long odds. You're free of the thoughts that crush so many comebacks — the assortment of self-involved, self-inflicted self doubts.
"So much of this business is 'Me, me me,'" Warner told Boeck. "... My faith has allowed me to step back from that and say, 'Hey, this isn't about me.'"
We've talked about how faith has a self-less component - losing the self in a transcendent power - and some of the possible benefits therein. Kinda cool to hear the argument in the context of sports. Maybe more football athletes should give themselves over to the Football God(s).
Now if only Christian sports stars like Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow won't wear John 3:16 on their eye strips while getting unsportsmanlike conduct/taunting penalties.