Philadephia Eagles

Football Sunday: This year, a revival (literally) in Philly locker room makes lots of headlines

Football Sunday: This year, a revival (literally) in Philly locker room makes lots of headlines

I know that I have told this story before, but I really don't care.

It's Super Bowl Sunday and, as everyone knows, that is one of the high holy days of the America's secular liturgical calendar -- even in a year in which life in the National Football League has been just as screwed up and tense and divided as everything else in this land of ours. (Well, I mean other than the fact that nearly 90 percent of all Americans don't want the Team That Must Not be Named to win.)

However, there is another interesting journalism that almost always shows up during the days that precede the Super Bowl -- the almost inevitable religion-beat hook.

So here is my story from the past, before we get to God and Super Bowl LII.

Long ago, in my Rocky Mountain News days, the Denver Broncos made a couple of trips to the Super Bowl. As you would imagine, newsrooms in Denver rolled out the heavy artillery to cover these events.
Well, I turned in memos arguing that -- as religion writer -- I should be included in the teams sent to cover these festivals of civil religion.
I never got my wish, but an editor later confessed that I had a point. Religion stories kept popping up, such as the issue of whether it was acceptable for members of these two gladiator squads to share a prayer meeting and/or Bible study before the kickoff? Would that be contrary to the spirit of the event? The NFL was worried.

So with that in mind, let's turn to these 2018 headlines:

* "In a tough sports town, baptisms and Bible studies fuel many of the Eagles’ stars," an Acts of Faith feature at The Washington Post (written by freelancer Bob Smietana).

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What role does religion play in the 'Tebow time!' madness that haunts NFL life?

What role does religion play in the 'Tebow time!' madness that haunts NFL life?

When it comes to National Football League news, the early summer OTAs -- organized training activities -- are about as insider an event as there is, the kind of coverage that appeals to the most fanatical of fans. Who covers these events? Maybe an ESPN expert or two, a few local sports-beat regulars and freelancers for sports websites.

So if that is the case, why is there a media storm right now at the OTAs for the Philadelphia Eagles? Let's see if you can spot a few clues at the very top of this rather snarky little report in The Washington Post.

Yes, you read that right. The voice of the DC beltway send a reporter to cover this off-season camp in the orbit of a sort-of-nearby franchise. Did NPR staff this? I'll have to check.

PHILADELPHIA -- Here he walked again, the man at the center of so many big ideas and raised-voice debates, crossing a practice field and wearing a red jersey.
“Tebow time!” a Philadelphia Eagles player yelled as a group of roughly 105 reporters mostly stopped whatever they were doing and hurried toward the quarterback wearing No. 11.
Yes, Tim Tebow is an NFL player again, this time for the Philadelphia Eagles, whose unusual offseason has simultaneously provided the former first-round draft pick a second chance and renewed America’s biggest sport’s biggest sideshow.

Now, I would like to raise four crucial questions about this scene, in this latest GetReligion post about the life and times -- college and then pro -- of young master Tebow.

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