For my entire life, I have been deprived of football.
In my childhood I never threw, or even touched, a pigskin. In my adolescence I didn’t know how the game was scored. Even now, in my late adulthood, I can’t say I’ve ever watched more than five minutes of a game.
This is mainly because I attended Christian schools which considered football to be an expense not conducive to education. Instead, we had the more modest sport, soccer. My father and brother didn’t watch football. Neither does my husband. My world has never expanded to include this particular sport, with its jerseys,Â team colors, and tailgate rituals.
It was illuminating for me to watch Silver Linings Playbook.
What a great cast of characters! Football is more than a character or theme. It is a presence. It is everything. The family patriarch, played by Robert DeNiro, has an unshakeable and superstitious faith in his team, the Philadelphia Eagles. His faith is as devout as any Christian’s faith in God. And in the end, his faith seems to help him (even as it also has the power to harm him).
So here’s a question:
CouldÂ going to church on Sundays have done any better by this fictional family than football?
Offhand, I don’t think so. And that is an interesting fact to ponder, in my football-less and church-saturated world.