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Bills’ Steve Johnson: Thanks for Nothing, God

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I hate seeing athletes “thanking God” for their victories. What arrogance, I always think. If God made you win, it follows that he made the other team lose. What kind of a mean God would do that? And what did you do to deserve the God nod?

But Steve Johnson has opened my eyes to the fact that it can go both ways. Finally, someone came out and blamed God for a loss. Johnson, a wide receiver for the long-suffering Buffalo Bills, tweeted his anger at the deity after he dropped a game-winning pass. “I praise you 24/7!!! And this how you do me!!!” Johnson apparently messaged. “You expect me to learn from this???How??? I’ll never forget this!! Ever!! Thx Tho.”

Sheer poetry. And on Thanksgiving weekend, no less. Thanks indeed. Steve Johnson is my new hero. “Why have you forsaken me?” Jesus famously demanded of God from the cross. Jesus also said people should follow him, but for the last 2,000 years, everyone’s been too intimidated to actually follow Jesus in that particular way. Until now.

I’m looking forward to Johnson’s next truth spasm. What other sports platitudes will he turn on their heads? Maybe he’ll say his mother screwed up his life, and any success he’s had is no thanks to her. Maybe he’ll explain to the press that it’s mathematically impossible to give more than 100%. Or maybe he’ll let drop something like this: “I really just play football for the money.”

I can’t wait.

Photo: Walter/Getty


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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • It’s amazing to get honesty from a sports figure. Hey, it’s almost as rare as getting honesty from a politician. We’ll have to keep an eye on this guy.

  • Justin

    There are alot of assumptions in this article. Perhaps athletes thanking God can mean they are thanking him for their athletic abilities, without which they could not compete, let alone win a competition.

    But lets say the scenario to which you referred is correct; God appoints some to win and some to lose. Is that mean? Or is it His Sovereign right? Certainly in a competition, both teams can’t win; or else how is it competition? But in the case of God’s Sovereignty, neither participant has anything to do with the ultimate outcome. Therefore, the winner didn’t earn the victory, and the loser didn’t deserve the defeat; they were both appointed [by God] to the destiny He chose for them.

    Jesus never demanded anything of God. When he asked, “Why have you forsaken me?”, it was an expression of Christ identifying with sinful mankind (since he bore our sins on the cross). In that moment, he experienced for the first time, as representative for all mankind, what it was like to feel separated from God; hence the outcry. In himself (sinlessness), Christ has never been separated from God. As he said, “I and my Father are one”. (John 10:30) An understanding of the Greek (original) language reveals “one” in that statement means of the same essence or being; which is to say, God eternal.

    Lastly Steve Johnson’s statement doesn’t indicate he is referring to a Christian belief in God. What if he believes in a god of some different religion; or simply believes in god, in a general sense? If so, then correlating Steve Johnson as a follower of Christ is all the more unfitting.