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footballprayerpicIdolChatte.jpgWith all the high-fiving of heaven after touchdowns, post-game testimonials, and mid-field prayer meetings, football fans might not have noticed that the NFL is mildly hostile to open displays of Christianity. As this Christianity Today piece points out, the league has tries to suppress the players’ tendency to take a knee together after the final gun. Thanking the Lord in interviews is also frowned upon.
These things still go on, due to outcries from Christian fans and the players’ determination to give thanks where they feel thanks. But the attitude of the NFL bosses is a grudging toleration.
This may change with the scandals that have cast shadows on the NFL’s opening weeks: First Michael Vick’s disgrace, then this week’s cheating charges against the Patriots.


As Vick–who came to know Jesus through the ordeal of his indictment and guilty plea–discovered, there’s nothing like God-talk to dispel bad publicity and signal redemption. As CBS seems fully aware, prayer can even help dispel that sickening feeling fans get when a player is gravely injured: When Kevin Everett lay immobile after a bad tackle in Buffalo last Sunday, the cameras alternated between his whole team bent in prayer and the ambulance taking Everett away.
When you’re pushing a product that occasionally maims your employees, who in turn occasionally go out of control, that kind of P.R. simply can’t be bought.

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