Recently, I've been having second thoughts about the great American pastime, sports. Or, I should put it in its more correct form, the American pastime of watching sports.
It was my good friend and spiritual mentor, the Reverend Frank Simmons, who discouraged me from watching sports. To him, sports, particularly football, consisted of a group of people desperately needing exercise, watching a group of men desperately needing rest.
As a young person, I loved watching pro-wrestling and could name all the top contenders. The "squared-circle" seemed to be the most exciting place on Planet Earth.
I went to local matches with my father every time there were any in the area. We thrived on the sport.
Imagine my surprise when discovering pro-wrestling was neither "pro," nor "wrestling." It was sheer entertainment. The matches were rigged.
It was not a contest of strength and skill but rather a ploy to extract money from fans. The blood in the "squared-circle" was fake.
Normally, I'm not a violent man, but when I see blood in the "squared-circle," I expect it to be real.
Not only that, I want the screams of pain to be real screams of pain and not some theatrical display for the benefit of entertainment. If I want soap opera, which I don't, I will watch soap opera.
Consequently, I power dropped pro-wrestling on its cauliflower ear.
After pro-wrestling, I turned to the great American sport of baseball. Ah, there is nothing quite like a good game of baseball on a Saturday afternoon.
Baseball is a great game employing individual skill and teamwork. I followed the Baltimore Orioles and enjoyed many games in the old stadium and finally in the new one at Camden Yards.
I was doing fine until the player's strike forced a cancellation of games for an entire summer. Baseball has never been the same for me since.
I have a hard time understanding why millionaires need to strike for more money when they probably will never spend what they have already. In the meantime, people depending on the game for employment suffer.
Recently, I've been thinking maybe things have changed, and maybe I should give sports another try. Entré vous Super Bowl game.
In the past, I have had several problems with the Super Bowl.
My major concern centers on the beer commercials. Perhaps it has something to do with all those funerals I have attended because of some drunk driver.
It's usually not the drunk driver who suffers. One the most difficult things in the world is looking into the eyes of a young wife/mother and her three children and tell them daddy won't be home - anymore.
But, I decided not to be so pig-headed and prejudiced on this issue. I would try football again.
Several weeks have gone by since the Super Bowl. Does anybody remember an actual football game was played?
The first half of the game was terrific. Then came half time. Halfway through half time, I was ready to cry, "Time out!"
First, there was a streaker. In an interview after the game, it was revealed that he is a professional streaker. I did not know there was such a thing. How much does a professional streaker make, and where does he put his check when he gets it?
His over-exposure revealed an underdeveloped mind. What mind gets up in the morning and deliberately plans to expose his naked body to the world?
As much as I am against alcohol, I am totally against nudity in all forms, especially human. Personally, I wear a blindfold when I take a shower, so why would I want to see someone else's body.
The worst, in my opinion, came with the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performance. Of course, I know who these people are and have seen them before. I just never saw as much of them before.
It's not that I'm against modern music; it's just some cannot differentiate between modern music and simulated noise. Putting up with the gibberish music and the gyrating dance still did not prepare me for the finale.
I don't mind being exposed to good music, art and fine culture, but this kind of exposure I can do without, thank you very much.
Two things bothered me: the explanation and the exploitation.
For the next week, that one scene was played at least 300 times per hour by every network under the sun. That wee bit of Jackson flesh got more exposure than the actual Super Bowl game. And, it wasn't much to brag about, in my book.
The explanation really took me. According to the other partner in slime, there was a "wardrobe malfunction."
Our president is looking for WMDs in Iraq, but who would have guessed they would turn up right here in the good old U. S. of A. The proliferation of these WMDs (Wardrobe Malfunction Disorder), especially on public airwaves has been astonishing.
During the past week, I have given this some thought. I reread a verse found in the Old Testament that sheds a little light on this subject. "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." (Ecclesiastes 7:29 KJV.)
The restlessness of men and women has created all the problems we face in our world today. St. Augustine put the whole thing into perspective when he wrote, "Thou, O God, has created us for Thyself and we are restless until we rest firmly in Thee."
If God wanted me to go around naked, why do I look so good in a suit?
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road in Silver Springs Shores. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores and can be contacted by calling 687-4240. Rev. Snyder's new book, "Romance Around A Parsonage Fireplace," is now available. Call for details. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.