According to a January 2014 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 55% of football fans believe “some type of supernatural force” plays a role in the outcome of sporting events. The same survey indicates that 33% of football fans have prayed for God to help their teams. Not surprisingly, many football fans believe their mere attendance and support of their team plays a role in the outcome of games.
My wife and I are headed to Lambeau Field today for a Packer/Chargers game. My wife’s family is from Green Bay and has had season tickets since the 50s. We are fortunate enough to go to one or two home games each year. I haven’t kept detailed records, but I’m sure the Packers have won a vast majority of the games we’ve attended. Still, I doubt if Packer management would be interested in rewarding my attendance at future critical games. They likely believe the arms of Favre and Rodgers played a larger role in the victories.
I can’t ever recall actually praying for the Packers to win. I did whisper a silent prayer for Aaron Rodgers to return to play when he went down with a shoulder injury against the Bears during the first series of a Monday night game in 2013. However, I must confess the prayer wasn’t so much for the Packers to win as it was to get Seneca Wallace off the field. My wife and I didn’t fly 1,000 miles to watch a backup quarterback.
The Chargers are a good team and Phil Rivers’ skills can’t be ignored, but I doubt if the Packers will need divine intervention to win today’s home game. The Chargers are 2-3 in the early season, and the Packers have yet to be tested at home or on the road for that matter. I suspect the Charger fans will need to solicit all “supernatural forces” they can muster to keep this game close.