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?