Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday, America's High Holy Day

All pastors joke that football, not Christianity, is the true American religion, with, naturally, Super Bowl Sunday being its high holy day. One ReligionDispatches piece argues that there is, in fact, legitimate reasons to believe that Americans do treat the Super Bowl with religious sacramentalization. The article's lede is pretty money:
Indignant responses to the Janet Jackson nipple slip and the somber post-9/11 halftime show reveal glimpses of the sanctity of this yearly ritual, but it’s also in the creation of icons, the reinforcement of rules, and Americans telling themselves stories about themselves.
Kurt Warner is obviously the Pontifex Maximus.


Darren Staley said...

I disagree with this on almost every level.

Janet Jackson- the shame of the human body

Post 9/11- equating war and foreign policy with a football game when one side wins and the other loses sans any shades of grey

Icons- the icon is totally subjective, some prefer a TO and others a Jerry Rice

Rules- the NFL has rules, but sometimes a play is called improperly, and there is no instant replay in life.

Drew said...

Darren, the article had a more thorough explanation for each of these points than did the lede. The lede just summed it all up nicely - better than I could have.