can you cheer for Cleveland and remain a Christian?

Christian sports fans in Northeast Ohio will hit a new low this weekend.  The AFC championship game features the two teams we hate the most:  the Pittsburgh Steelers, our long-time rivals before we lost our team, and the Baltimore Ravens, who are that team we lost.  It’s obvious now that the Steelers-Browns rivalry never really stopped, it just moved to Baltimore.

As a Cleveland sports fan, I wondered how I could watch the game (and by “watch” I mean “tape for after the evening service”) knowing that the outcome would leave me depressed.  I think I have a solution.  Rather than follow the celebration of the winners, I will focus on the pain and disappointment of the losing team.  This way I can still find satisfaction no matter how the game turns out. 

My only problem is that my solution doesn’t seem very Christian.  I don’t think that God wants his children to delight in the suffering of others.  Then again, what’s the point of retaining a Christian veneer when it’s obvious that God has turned his back on Cleveland sports?  It’s fashionable to make fun of athletes who pray to God to help them win and thank Him for their victories, but I think I have proof that God really does care who wins.  If God was as impartial as some people think, wouldn’t a Cleveland team have won something in my lifetime?






12 responses to “can you cheer for Cleveland and remain a Christian?”

  1. Justin

    It could be worse…you could be a Detroit Lions fan…

  2. As a fellow Cleveland fan, I feel your pain. I am likely to focus on the suffering of the losers of this game for my satisfaction and then embrace the NFC challenger in the Super Bowl. As long as one of these two teams does not win, I will feel somewhat better. Is it Christian? Well if the Arizona Cardinals are the Super Bowl opponent, shouldn’t all true Christians be pulling for them anyway since Kurt Warner, the Arizona QB, is such an outspoken Christian athlete? I am convinced that no true Christian could be playing for Pittsburgh or Baltimore. 😉

  3. Just Some Guy

    As soon as this match-up materialized, I decided that I would cheer for both teams to physically demolish each other, so that the winner had nothing left for the Super Bowl.

    Cleveland sports fans are 90% scar tissue.

  4. Yooper

    Be of good cheer! (II Corinthians 12:9-10)

  5. Seriously? Are you going to whine about football in Lions territory? Hey, the Browns may have had a disappointing season, but at least the Buckeyes made it to a bowl game. I’m sure Rich and the Wolverines enjoyed watching that game from home. And, if I may reach back a few months, the Indians gave you something to cheer about, too, while the Tigers… well, you know, acted like a Detroit sports franchise. Maybe the Christian thing to do is to count your sports blessings and pray for the former Browns’ coaches to find guidance and forgiveness.

  6. mikewittmer

    Sorry Yooper, the Bible doesn’t apply here. Justin and Jonathan: Detroit has teams that have won multiple championships in my lifetime, so your suffering doesn’t count. Same for you Cubs fans. You had Michael Jordan when we only had Mark Price, who despite being a far better Christian than a Cardinals QB, still could not attract enough of God’s favor to put us over the top.

  7. Yooper

    Not even for a Lion’s fan? 😦

  8. Mike H.

    At least you have Lebron James…..Until he decides to leave America and make 30 million a year playing in Europe. But for now, you can be happy for the Cleveland Cavs who are having a pretty good year so far.

  9. Do Christian athletes give God the glory when their team loses? Will there be football in heaven? ..err excuse me, in the new heavens and new earth? And what was the name of the Bifg Ten school from the state of Michigan that DID play in a bowl game this year? (Hint.. It’s not in Ann Arbor… and yes they lost that bowl game but at least they were there…) 😉

  10. I’m sorry, I tried sixteen times to read your blog entry, but every time I got to a sports reference, I fell asleep on my keyboard. I give up.

  11. Maybe King James can lift us Cleveland fans out of our depression and give us a championship!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: