Does God really take sides in a game of American football? Does God really care who wins this week between the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos and the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots? Apparently, a significant number of people think God does take sides. According to a recent poll, 43% of Americans think divine help is at least partly responsible for the Broncos unexpected success. Perhaps the John 3:16 coincidence (or sign?) from the previous game is influencing their decision. Coincidentally, 43% of American also approve of the job President Obama is doing. These are strange days: the same amounts of people who approve of the President also believe God is helping the Broncos win NFL football games.
The Bronco go into the divisional round playoff game as 13.5 point underdogs, which means that odds- makers give them only a 15% chance of winning. Given the circumstances, even 15% seems optimistic, but this number accounts for the unusual events that sometimes decide NFL games. On occasion, strange things happen in a football game to sway its verdict, which is the Broncos only hope for victory. If one of the following three events takes place, then perhaps the Tebow-led Broncos will collect a most unexpected victory:
- Bad Weather: The game conditions currently look cold, but nothing more than that. Unless the wind chill drops 20 degrees from the current forecast or a snowstorm develops despite its 0% chance, the weather will not factor into Saturday’s game.
- Three Tom Brady Interceptions: With three interceptions, the Bronco might win. During the last eight games, Brady has averaged 0.25 interceptions per game. He will need to throw 12 times that amount to imperil his team.
- Two Special-Team touchdowns: The Patriots did give any special teams touchdowns during the regular season.
If Tim Tebow does lead his Broncos to victory on Saturday, expect a substantial increase from the 43% of American who believe Tebow’s team is receiving divine help. If God is really helping the Broncos, expect his intervention to come through ordinary means. Just as a strong wind blew before the Israelites crossed through Red Sea when leaving from Egypt and just as Elisha instructed Naaman to dip in the Jordan River in order to be healed, God often works through ordinary events to accomplish his plan.
But really, is it God’s plan for the Broncos to win? If they lose on Saturday, then that answers the question. If they win, well, that seems unlikely.