There are lots of numbers associated with football games. But what do they mean?
A lot was made of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow throwing for 316 yard in last week’s footsball game against the terminally unemployed steel-workers of Pittsburgh. You see, Tebow stood out from other quarterbacks for painting Bible verses on his face, a favorite of his being John 3:16. People imagined there was some connection between the number of yards Tebow threw for and the placement of one of the more important verses in Christianity within one of the later Gospels.
It’s a pretty clear example of selection bias. When something unusual happens which seems to validate a wacky but popular belief, that will stand out in the memories of people holding that belief. We remember the hits and forget the misses. It’s what psychics and astrologers depend on to keep customers. And now this weird sub-section of the divination industry is combining sports, numerology and religion, so I’m going to cash in on it like the rest.
Last night the Tea Party Patriots of New England beat Tim Tebow and the Broncos by a score of 45-10. I couldn’t find any relevant verses in the Bible. So unsurprisingly I had to turn to the Quran. Here is 45:10 from the Quran:
Before them is Hell, and what they had earned will not avail them at all nor what they had taken besides Allah as allies. And they will have a great punishment.
So it’s pretty clear what Mohammed’s referring to here. Hell obviously symbolizes the Patriots losing to the Broncos. In endorsing Jesus, Tebow had “taken besides Allah as allies.” And this blog post mocking Tebow and his fans is the great punishment predicted by the Prophet Mohammed under the divine guidance of the arch-angel Gabriel.
Now to dig a little deeper, I’m going to be using the King James Version of NFL statistics and the ESPN reports of the Bible. This is where this kind of work gets fun because there are about as many sports statistics in a game as there are verses in the various alleged holy books. So I can pretty much make the “meaning” of this NFL playoff game be whatever I want.
Tebow completed 9 passes out of 26 attempts. The ninth chapter of Mark in part tells the story of Jesus casting a demon out of a young boy. Here’s Mark 9:26
And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
Right after this, Jesus takes the boy’s hand and he regains consciousness. So the 26th verse of Mark 9 refers to the low point of the “boy,” i.e. Tebow, just before Jesus fully heals him. So now all Tim Tebow has to do is to have a game where he plays even shittier than he did last night and only completes 9 passes out of 27 attempts, and he’ll be back to how he was before the demon of losing in the playoffs took control of him.
Patriots QB Tom Brady’s longest completed pass of the game was for 61 yards. And is it just a coincidence that there is such a verse as Exodus 6:1? I DOUBT IT.
Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
Here the God character is a metaphor for the INS. The government is telling Moses (Brady) that soon it will crack down on Pharaoh (Tim Tebow) for being an illegal immigrant. As he admitted in that horrible anti-abortion commercial which ran during the Super Bowl, Tebow was “born” in the Philippines. Well, all his documentation is apparently faked, according to my haphazard and irresponsible numerological interpretation of the theological meaning of Tom Brady’s football stats. Remember, you heard it here first.
Since last night’s game was one of those playoff games where the losers are banned from playing any more games and from talking or thinking about footsball for the rest of the season, this marks the end of playing football games for money for the Broncos until next fall. So we have the complete stats for the Broncos for this season.
Tebow was sacked 33 times this season. And after this disappointing loss for him, he’s gotta feel a little like Job wondering why God could let all these horrible things happen to him, like losing a game he’s paid millions of dollars to play regardless of the outcome. Job 33 is a speech by this young guy named Elihu, who tries to answer Job/Tebow’s whining and bitching. Elihu’s unsatisfied with the counter-arguments made by Job’s buddies, so he busts up the pity party to give them what he sees as the real explanation.
Job, seen here defying God by fixing his television antenna.
Elihu’s speech in Job 33 is basically a foreshadowing of the response the God character gives Job, which is that God is powerful and Job shouldn’t even question him. Shut up Job, you bozo. I MADE you from dirt. Get lost. I work in mysterious ways. That’s what God tells Job ultimately.
And it’s also what we hear from apologists trying to respond to the Problem of Evil. God gets all the credit when things are going well, but when something horrible happens like a flood or earthquake or a Broncos playoff loss, suddenly it’s all “mysterious ways.” When scientists cure polio, the devout thank God. But when a tsunami kills a few thousand people they suddenly embrace a naturalistic worldview where randomness instead of God is at the root of all things.
I’d like that kind of gig – one where all your fuck-ups are always overlooked and you get all the credit for the good stuff others do. It’s nice work if you can get it.