Football fan for a day


Super Bowl Sunday: The day America stops. For four hours in the evening, millions of Americans will be gathered together around televisions to watch the pinnacle game of the National Football League season. I will be among them because football is more than just a game for me; it's an old friend.

I have loved football since my peewee playing days at Pearl Park in Minneapolis. I fell in love with the Minnesota Vikings during the same time period while growing up just a few blocks from the Metrodome where they play (and have since felt like a lover scorned more often than not). It is not just playing the game that I love, nor is it the Vikings. No, it is the game itself with all of its aggression, drama, skill, passion, competition, and spectacular displays of athleticism.

But just as much as I love football, others of you dislike it or simply don't care about it. Your passions might be for music, literature, cooking, art, technology, gaming, or any of a million pastimes. And that is fine and good.

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But I make one request of you: For one day a year, and one day only, be a football fan.

Be a fan for one day for a single purpose: People. Football draws people like moths to a porch light, and through football you can connect with people. There isn't another social or entertainment event during the year that draws people like the Super Bowl. So take advantage of it!

For one evening take off the earbuds, turn off the Xbox, close the book, and go to a Super Bowl party. Or host one. Or crash one. Just be a part of what people are doing! It doesn't matter that you don't like football, don't care about football, or don't know about football. Share the food, enjoy the commercials, cringe at the halftime show, and give a football fan the opportunity to show off his knowledge of the game.

As Christians, we are called to love people, to know them well, to care about them. We're also called to be in community. Our Sabbath day is devoted to worship and fellowship. Does a Super Bowl party fulfill those callings? Not entirely, but it can be fantastic, strategic, fun way to take a step toward obeying. Super Bowl Sunday is an event that transcends fandom and is culturally iconic, so I ask you to transcend your interests. For one day, for a few hours, be a football fan for the sake of knowing and loving people well.

Barnabas Piper
Barnabas Piper

Barnabas works for Lifeway Christian Resources and is the author of The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity and Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith. He and his wife live in the Nashville area with their two daughters. Follow Barnabas on Twitter @BarnabasPiper.


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