Is God an Orlando Magic fan?

By William Wan If you watched all the way to the end of last night’s dramatic overtime game when the … Continued

By William Wan

If you watched all the way to the end of last night’s dramatic overtime game when the Orlando Magic beat the Boston Celtics, you would have caught this provocative statement from Magic star Dwight Howard:

“I just want to thank God…We got the win tonight. It’s all because of him. It’s nothing we did.”

It’s not the first time NBA star Howard (know to his fans as Superman) has invoked God in the course of his games. Last year, when asked why people should pick Magic to win over the Lakers, his one word answer was again “God.” (Although, it should be noted, Howard and his team ultimately lost.)

All of which prompted this philosophical question: Does God get involved in the win-loss columns of professional sports (or any sports for that matter)?


Dwight Howard, center, was everywhere his team needed him be, finishing with 32 points and 16 rebounds in the Magic’s victory. (Elsa/getty Images)

Howard’s insistent views on the issue last night generated some interesting online discussion on the topic. There’s of course the smart-alecks:
“so does this mean they cheated?”
“David Stern is gonna fine god for this.”

Then there’s the Celtic angst in response his argument: If God is for the Magic, does it mean he must be against the Celtics?

Of course, athlete’s have been invoking God, or gods, since the invention of sports. As the movie “Angels in the Outfield” points out, football players kneel after a touchdown, baseball players point to the sky after a homerun, and so on.

What do you guys think? What does it all mean?

A little more background on the whole Howard/God relationship in case you’re interested:

*According to ESPN profile: “His favorite song is a gospel hymn, ‘Praise is What I Do.’ And when someone asks for his autograph, Howard writes ‘God bless’ alongside his signature, so that he can ‘let people know that everything that they’ve gotten is because of God.’

*His pre-game routine involves a heavy dose of prayer: “After I shake hands with the guys, I go off to the end of the floor and say a prayer to get myself locked in. The reason I pray is there are so many things that could go wrong on the court and I just ask God to put some angels around me and my teammates to protect us so that nobody has a serious injury. I’ve been saying that same prayer since I got the NBA. I pray with the team before the game and I say my own prayer. I have so much to be thankful, and I just like to take that time to say thanks and ask God to watch over me.”

*Lastly, got a kick out of this funny (but admittedly irreverent) forum discussing Howard’s similar invocation of God last year against the Lakers:
“Let me get this straight: According to George Karl, Jesus couldn’t stop Kobe Bryant. According to Dwight Howard, God will help the Magic beat the Lakers. I’m guessing God plays better defense than Jesus?”

Response on the discussion board: “As a full-time Roman Catholic I can assure you the Holy Spirit is the defensive specialist.”

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About

  • PSolus

    Sports are full of superstition.Each athlete has his/her own lucky jockstrap, lucky glove, lucky bat, lucky club, lucky racket, lucky gestures, lucky rituals, and lucky imaginary gods.

  • Sage_on_the_Hudson

    Extending the logic of this nitwit athlete, his god probably has a bundle bet on the Celtic with a Las Vegas bookie.If he’s being “rewarded” for his cloying piety, then every other team is being punished. Does Howard think that other teams and players are being punished for their commensurate lack of piety — or they just out-and-out sinful?

  • fendertweed

    Religion is the opiate of the masses.Dopes like Howard can believe what they want, but I recall a major league baseball manager once saying in an interview, when asked about the holy roller ballplayers, that they can think what they want but he’s never seen god throw a good hard slider or take the ball deep when Nolan Ryan is pitching (in other words, he thought it was a bunch of horse$*#t, as I do).He’s entitled to his beliefs, of course, even if they’re simplistic, etc.

  • paulaburto3

    Honestly, do you news people have nothing more to write about. This is Howard’s view on why the Magic wins. I see what he is saying. He has a strong faith in God obviously and looks to him for all things. God is in control of all things, whether you believe it or not and it does not mean that God doesn’t want a certain team to win or lose. I think it is not good to make fun of spiritual beliefs. You news people get more rediculous everyday. Stop chasing after every story line you think you see.

  • fendertweed

    “God is in control of all things, whether you believe it or not and it does not mean that God doesn’t want a certain team to win or lose.”~~~~~~~~~this is, of course, merely your opinion, no matter how strongly held.

  • bob2davis

    Stupid article, stupid athletes. The mythical god only causes oil spills, floods, tornados and other disasters. It does not intervene in entertainment.

  • spidermean2

    The Bible keeps on repeating its Doomsday prophecy. If it’s a fairy tale, why are people now afraid of the coming all out nuclear war?Why are people anxious of Iran getting nukes? Or North Korea? Let’s face it folks. You know that the Bible speaks the truth but just hate it to admit that you’ve been wrong all these years. Idiots are idiots and nothing can change their mind. An so, destruction (Doomsday) will overtake them.Ironic but it’s them who don’t believe the Bible are the ones fulfilling them.

  • spidermean2

    The Bible keeps on repeating its Doomsday prophecy. If it’s a fairy tale, why are people now afraid of the coming all out nuclear war?Why are people anxious of Iran getting nukes? Or North Korea? Let’s face it folks. You know that the Bible speaks the truth but just hate it to admit that you’ve been wrong all these years. Idiots are idiots and nothing can change their mind. An so, destruction (Doomsday) will overtake them.Ironic but it’s they who don’t believe the Bible are the ones fulfilling the prophecy.

  • igsoper

    If Howard spend a little less time praising God and a little more tie practicing his free throws, the Magic may actually win a championship.

  • igsoper

    When Hakeem Olajuwon won two titles with Houston he prayed to Allah. Does that mean his god beat our god?

  • areyousaying

    Moronic Huckabee logic like Palin claiming “God is on our side” in the Middle East.If I pray for the Magic and you pray for the Celtics, what’s a god to do?

  • areyousaying

    Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a big hot dog and a giant beer at the game? Together they cost $27.95 and I lost my job so I can’t pay.I’m counting on you Lord so please don’t let me down.with apologies to Janis Joplin.

  • speaker2animals1

    Odd how the “end of Times” has been prophesied since the dawn of time…it’s the one reliable prophesy to fail 100% of the time…so far…Prayer is about as reliable and predictable as rubbing a “lucky” rabbit’s foot…confirmation bias always prevails in any rationalized outcome of wished-for events.But hey…if it works for him (or doesn’t), who’s counting…really?

  • spidermean2

    speaker2animals1 wrote “Odd how the “end of Times” has been prophesied since the dawn of time…it’s the one reliable prophesy to fail 100% of the time…so far…”When the prophecy was told, nobody ever foresaw that there will come a time when some nations will be capable of wiping out all life-forms on earth just by pushing a red button.Idiots can’t think, can they?

  • spidermean2

    “Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” The same thing you’d see if a man stands near ground zero of detonation. If that is not 100% accurate, what is it then?Idiots don’t think, do they?

  • randysbailin

    No way God could’ve been watching the Magic game on Monday. I know for a fact that he was watching a softball game in Boise.

  • rcubedkc

    “Idiots are idiots and nothing can change their mind.”No truer words were ever spoken spidernut and they fit you to a tee.

  • spidermean2

    Praying is a sign of humility. Im not sure if God answers prayers to win a game but humility is always key in winning games.”Pride comes before fall”.”The meek shall inherit the earth”. Humility does wonders.

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