Last updated: July 18. 2013 1:57PM - 131 Views
Martha Sparks
Society Editor

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The excitement builds. Billions of dollars will be involved. For the stars, it will mean millions in income. Merchants will take in vast sums of money. Manufacturers of paraphernalia of all kinds will fit into price ranges for whatever you want to spend to remind you of this event.

Any way you look at it, it will be an expensive event. It invades the family home, schools, churches, clubs and parties of some kind wherever people gather to enjoy football.

What I call, “Football Theology,” is certainly a misnomer that takes the word “theology” completely out of its proper context. It was sent to me by a college president, theologian and veteran pastor, Dr. Max Gaulke, with 13 such definitions from Pastor Earl J. Banning of Houston, Texas, the city where both men lived and worked.

Bob Fallstron, one of the finest sports writers in the nation, first picked it up from me and the many definitions I added to the original list and used it in the Herald & Review newspaper of Decatur, Illinois.

Since that time, it has appeared in newspapers throughout the nation, magazines, books and used on radio and television. It was featured in USA TODAY, January 21, 1992, prior to Super Bowl XXVI, with the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins.

With brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, as the opposing head coaches, San Francisco and Baltimore will meet on Sunday, February 3, at 6:00 p.m. in New Orleans to determine this year’s National Football League Champion.

Super Bowl Parties have become annual events in thousands of churches across the nation. They are for youth and adults – anyone interested in football. The “Admission Ticket” to the stadium is often non-perishable food and the more cans you bring, the better your seat. The food should be donated to a mission to help feed the needy.

Rick Perry, former popular and highly successful football coach at Niantic, Illinois and Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL, once commented, “Football is a religion that fills pews every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during its season.” He also sent 57 football terms, most of which I had not used.

You may have a much better definition which I would enjoy having and adding to my list of more than 100. Here they are for the first time.

SWEEP — what church custodians do each week.

COME BACK — what some church members decide to do after a long absence.

SEVEN STEP DROP — getting as far from the preacher as possible.

BOOTLEG — is something the preacher and revenuers seldom approve.

FULL HOUSE — that exciting time when the church house is crowded.

TWO MINUTE WARNING — when parishioners fold their Bibles, put on coats and the sermon is not over, but should be.

SPRINT OUT — happens when people are hungry and in a hurry to eat and watch the Super Bowl.

FAKE — what we used to call hypocrites.

DRAW — what restless children and adults do during boring sermons.

In many churches, people dress a little different on Super Bowl Sunday. Sweatshirts of a favorite team may be worn. Some pastors have been known to preach dressed like a football official.

Take advantage of this special day. St. Paul used sports terminology when writing to the church of God at Corinth, encouraging believers to run to win.

In I Corinthians 9:24-27, he mentions all running for the prize, competition, discipline and determination. In verse 24 he states, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

You always win in life with your best effort in every respect.


Dr. William “Bill” Ellis of Scott Depot is a weekly syndicated columnist who writes on a wide variety of subjects. Ellis has spent 25 years as a radio and television broadcaster and as a guest speaker and teacher on college campuses.

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