Basketball: A Religious Experience


I went to a college basketball game. Arizona State University (ASU) played their fierce in state rival the University of Arizona (U.A.). It was a great game that went into overtime. And the hometown Sun Devils from ASU were victorious over their hated rivals the Wildcats from UA and the crowd went wild.

We all know that basketball is the world’s greatest sport. But how many people know that basketball is a religious experience. This game proved it, if there was any doubt. During the last 15 minutes of the game I had to stand up as often as at a Roman Catholic Mass. Then came the real clincher–the crowd kept cheering, over and over again–‘Go Devils Go! Go Devils Go!”  Can there be any doubt? But since when do people cheer for the devils, even if they are only sun devils?

The crowd jumped up, arms raised in praise. Just like at a Pentecostal Church service. I had trouble understanding the fans. Not because I am nearly deaf. They were speaking in tongues. There was rejoicing as there was in heaven when the Prodigal son returned.  This was because the Sun Devils rarely won against their hated rivals.

And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth for the losing team. The music became funereal. Just like a funeral hymn. I swear that is true. Rather, since I am a good Mennonite, I solemnly affirm that was true.

In the parking lot I experienced hell. Cars stuck in line. No movement. It felt like this pain would last forever. On the way home the religious experience continued. I drove by the “Devil’s Advocate Bar.” I heard a jazz tune driving home, “End time Brilliance,” it was called. There was no doubt. It was clear. This was the Rapture all right. Had I been left behind?

4 thoughts on “Basketball: A Religious Experience

Leave a Reply