- End of the Bench
- Americans Celebrate Birth of Jesus by Skipping Church and Watching Sports
Americans Celebrate Birth of Jesus by Skipping Church and Watching Sports
by T. Kent Jones
NEW YORK - This Holiday sports fans must choose - celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the long-awaited “Son of God” sent to Earth to redeem the sins of all mankind, or binge a compelling slate of non-pay-per-view sports content?
“I’m torn,” admitted fan Jim Jardine, of Valdosta, Georgia. “I have a ton of respect for Jesus, and the program he’s built over the years but, wow, to miss all that primo NFL and NBA action for church? Tough call.”
The birth of Jesus of Nazareth in a Bethlehem stable 2022 years ago is the foundation for a solemn religious holiday commemorated by Christians worldwide every Christmas Eve, December 24, and Christmas Day, December 25.
Awkwardly, the observance clashes with a full slate of televised NFL games, many with profound playoff implications. There are games on Saturday and Sunday, including highly anticipated matchups between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants, the San Francisco 49ers versus the Washington Commanders, and the Cincinnati Bengals versus the New England Patriots.
Likewise, the NBA has also prepared a feast of marquee contests including the Bucks versus the Celtics, the Lakers versus the Mavericks, and the Grizzlies versus the Warriors.
Faced with such a schedule, many see impossible conflicts in their Yuletide time commitments.
“The Jesus Show is good but it’s the same every year. Spoiler alert, He wins.” says Taylor Baxter from Little Rock. “But Memphis-Golden State? That one really could go either way, especially if Steph is hurt.”
Oregon college football fan Pat Earhardt plans to skip church and watch the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl on Christmas Eve, which pits the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders against the San Diego State Aztecs. He says bowl games provide badly needed relief from holiday stress. “When I’m trying to avoid my relatives, it’s important that I get as drunk as possible and watch young men from schools I don’t care about giving maybe 60% effort in a game that means nothing.”
ESPN exec Glen Stephens feels viewers deserve a choice. “This is all about capturing eyeballs. We’re not letting some annual religious things cut into our market share. Nothing’s going to stop ESPN from providing non-stop beer, chips, and pizza advertising and 100% disposable football content to our viewers. Hey, we like the baby Jesus as much as anyone, but football is football, people.”
Speaking for the religious community, Rev. Earl Thomas of the First Methodist Church of Woodstock, Illinois says, “We should ask ourselves, What Would Jesus Do? And I think the Prince of Peace would be totally OK with folks celebrating his birthday by watching enormous young millionaires engage in dangerous masculinity rituals purely for our amusement. His Grace truly surpasses all understanding.”