Monday, February 05, 2007

My Sports-Free Zone

I’m not a sports spectator. The only sporting events I care to watch are ones in which my children are actively playing. Otherwise I largely choose ignorance on the topic. I understand the basic rules of most major sports, and I am usually at least somewhat fuzzily cognizant of which major sports season is underway. But I can’t generally tell you what teams play, let alone tell you anything about the players and coaches. Occasionally, however, society’s general interest is so great that it is impossible to avoid some sports matters.

I used to fool myself into thinking that I enjoyed watching the grand spectacle of the Olympics, but my habits belie the truth. During the two weeks that the Olympics are broadcast I rarely dedicate more than a few fleeting minutes to watching coverage or even paying attention to it through other media outlets. When guys at work talk about “The Game,” I usually don’t have a clue what they’re referring to.

I am told that the Super Bowl was played out yesterday. I have been told who won, who lost, and what the score was, but that information holds so little value for me that I have forgotten it already. For me, yesterday was an average Sunday.

My family has implemented policies and patterns over the years that we hope are designed to help us comply with the Lord’s commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy (Exodus 20:8). Some Sundays we’re more successful at it than other Sundays. We have our downfalls, to be sure, but sports entertainment is not part of our family’s Sundays.

To be honest, since major sports is not important to me or my wife, we have very little temptation to indulge in sports on Sunday (or any other day, for that matter). One of my fellow computer nerds confided in me that he would rather be run over by a hay rake than spend five hours watching football coverage. I concur. My temptations lie in other areas. So while many people are suffering from post-season football withdrawal syndrome, life goes on normally for me.

I’m not lecturing about how you should manage your Sundays. That’s between you and your God. For those of you that are Mormon, you’re probably as aware as I am of the counsel that has repeatedly been given regarding Sabbath worship. I do believe that making an active effort to make the Sabbath a truly sacred day will bring eternally valuable blessings. How do you go about doing that? Give it some thought — and effort. It’ll be worth it.


Anonymous said...

what about brother morris and brother tait? do they not deserve our sabbath day support while they play in the super bowl. they will pay more in tithing in one year than you will pay in a life time.

plus, they are great ambassadors for lord's work.

Scott Hinrichs said...

I don't think the Lord cares one iota about how much tithing money a celebrity Mormon pays or how much fame one earns for oneself. Earthly administrators may care about such matters, but I think the state of the soul is much more important to the Lord.

Heidi said...

Consider the widow's mite.....

Anonymous said...

I don't know of any Mormon that keeps the Sabbath perfectly. For some it's sports, for some it's TV, for some it's traveling, or camping, or good movies or whatever.

I guess you can call me a Jack Mormon because if the Jazz or the Aggies end up playing on a Sunday, I'm going to watch the game (especially if it's the playoffs or March Madness). And I don't really feel bad about it because I'm usually with my family.

I do get a little torked with people that knowingly schedule church meetings during big events like the Super Bowl that could be at other times. I often hear them say that it is a good measure of devotion to see who will come to a correlation or planning meeting 30 minutes into the Super Bowl. Hogwash! Many a friend and family member had a meeting scheduled for 5 PM on Sunday afternoon this week.

Scott Hinrichs said...


I never claimed to be perfect at Sabbath observance. We do make an honest effort, but we fall well within the imperfect category. As I said, my temptations lie outside of sports, but I do have to work with my temptations constantly.

And, hey, we're addicted to meetings. What happened to all of that counsel back in the 80s when (we went to the block schedule) about members being able to spend more time with family on Sunday? Boyd K. Packer lamented about a decade ago that leaders simply used the extra time to fill with more meetings.

None of my family had any meetings scheduled for Super Bowl time this past Sunday. Perhaps the leaders in my area were watching the game as well.