Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Really Super Is The Super Bowl?

All in all it was a decent and pretty good game. But the 45th such contest's primary claim to fame, for the moment, is that it broke the standing record for viewership numbers.

The nation’s top sporting event in 2011 saw two evenly matched teams, the rugged Steelers of Pttsburgh and the storied Packers from Green Bay, go head to head in Texas on Sunday, February 6th. The big game’s legendary commercials lived up to their reputation, and should, for what they cost during the monster event. As usual, some were hysterical, others very clever, and again a few thrown in that were not quite kid-friendly, as has become typical.

When the dust settled, the Giants of the gridiron (not the New York brand, but the Packers) came through by a 31-25 score and thereby winning the sport’s coveted trophy . The victory is especially sweet for the fans of that area since the special hardware is named after Vince Lombardi, one of Green Bay’s former coaches, and arguably the most famous to ever lead a professional football team to a world title.

As far as those who watched the game on some level for some period of time, Super Bowl XLV averaged 111 million viewers and became the single most-watched television program in U.S. history.

USA TODAY's Gary Levin revealed, “The game beat the previous record of 106.5 million, set during last year's Super Bowl, which shattered the 27-year record held by the series finale of M*A*S*H (106 million), which held the viewership record from 1983 to 2010. This marks the sixth straight year that Super Bowl viewership has increased.” These are stunning numbers although it is up for debate how many were real, or fully rabid, football fans other than just for that 3-4 hour period.

But largely unknown to hard core fans and those who just enjoy a good party and chuckle during the commercials phase, is that well over a dozen players on each teams openly proclaimed Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Several gave outstanding and clear cut testimonies to the media, stating that their highest priority was beyond their fame, the lucrative benefits, and the gaudy ring soon to adorn their finger indicating their place in football immortality.

For these, biblical truth has tempered any earthly accomplishments and allowed them to stay grounded and spiritually focused. They understand well the words of. Proverbs 23:5. “For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” These get the sobering truth of Mark 8:36. ”For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

Also this select group of sports icons, who had nearly an entire nation, and many others around the globe watch their every move, have unique perspective of what it means to be in the limelight when compared to the stunning forecast in Revelation 1:7. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.”

The Steelers, and especially the victorious Packers, are to be congratulated on rising to the top of a most coveted earthly profession. But the ones who are the most truly blessed champions are the ones that understand the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead is the greatest highlight of their now exciting and storied earthly lives. These will someday be raised up by God, reign with Him forever, and enjoy rewards that never fade and will last an eternity! (Matthew 6:20-21, Romans 8:11, Corinthians 6:14)

The Apostle Paul explained and predicted it like so. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The Super Bowl is the greatest event the sports world has to offer. Ratings again proved that. But the dictionary definitions of ‘super’ far better reveal that greatest of all of life’s moments – the one Scripture speaks about when true Christians are raised, or changed, to meet Christ, become like Him, and enjoy Him forever. The terms include: over and above, higher in quantity and quality, more than superhuman, surpassing all others of its kind, superior in status, title, or position. Superb, superpower, marvelous, magnificent, glorious, sensational, and appropriately - sovereign, incomparable, and out of this world!

For Christians, including those who played in the big games, there will someday be an event so incredibly superior as to make even the greatest Super Bowls collectively seem "Super Boring” in contrast, and of course, in eternal importance!

Perhaps it is time for the NFL to change the name of their signature event? In comparison to the indescribable future awaiting all real believers in Jesus Christ, maybe they should consider a more honest and accurate title – something like the "Sunday, Sub-par, Subordinate, Substandard, Superficial Bowl”? Well, this may be an interesting concept - at least from a Christian standpoint. But don’t look for, or expect, that to happen anytime soon or ever.

But at least don’t forget to learn, and act upon by faith, on the super biblical and super crucial spiritual truths surrounding the above comments and issue either!

Bill Breckenridge

No comments: