The Bengals versus Matthew Stafford

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)


Randall Balmer, our BlogTalkRadio guest last night, is rooting for the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Not because he is a Rams fan, but because he is a Matthew Stafford fan. That sentiment is apparently echoed by a lot of fans in the Detroit, Michigan area — a long way from Los Angeles. 

For 12 years, Matthew Stafford was the star quarterback on a losing team. In 12 seasons he was able to help the woebegone Lions get to the playoffs three times but each time they lost in the first round. Nevertheless, he played his heart out there and was the one reason why, as one loyal Detroit fan put it, “We’ve got Stafford. We always have a chance in every game.” 

Usually, when a star player leaves a poor team for a better one, the fans never forgive him. But this is not the case in Detroit. Sure, there are some hard feelings, but most fans are glad that he has the opportunity to play on a bigger stage — that he finally has a good team behind him to show off his skills. A quarterback is important, but he can’t carry the whole team. Proof of that is Stafford’s playoff record: 0-3 with the Lions; 3-0 with the Rams. 

A lot of Detroit area loyalty to Stafford is because of what he gave both on and off the field there. He and his wife have donated over two million dollars to that town, mostly for underprivileged kids to have a field and sports complex to develop their skills. And the two of them have devoted their time as well. They will stop by the complex and Matthew will teach football skills and play basketball with the kids while his wife, Kelly, teaches cheerleading. No wonder he is loved here.

So Randall Balmer will be rooting for Matthew Stafford in the Super Bowl because in the 1960s he lived in Bay City, Michigan and became a Lions fan and has stuck with it. Something about these Detroit fans that makes them loyal like no other. 

Our interview with Randall is timely in that he has just finished a new book, Passion Plays: How Religion Shaped Sports in North America. With the Super Bowl coming up, it’s a timely discussion of a Christian perspective on sports in general. Click here and listen to a half-hour discussion that will help you think Christianly about football. Just in time for this weekend.

For most people, this classic Super Bowl contest is between the Rams and the Bengals. But for a lot of Detroit fans, it’s a contest between the Bengals and Matthew Stafford. May the best man win.


This entry was posted in sports and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Bengals versus Matthew Stafford

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Of course I loved Today’s Catch! Living just outside of Detroit and while listening to Randall Balmer earlier this afternoon discuss being a Lions fan. I had to chuckle b/c there’s something about those loveable losers!
    Yet absolutely LOVED this truth: “… as one loyal Detroit fan put it, “We’ve got Stafford. We always have a chance in every game.” Big Amen!!!

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Also, let me please ask the group to plz consider whispering prayers for me, I am involved in a debate on Facebook with an Atheist or Jesus denier (which I simply don’t like that word, “debate” b/c it tends to suggest there’s a winner & looser) and I would just like a intelligent discussion about Jesus if He was fake or really existed. Naturally I asked her after she had said there is no proof of Him, so I asked her Sascha Giovann what the proof she has for Julies Creaser? Which naturally she got all upset w/ me and called me a few bad names, which I laughed over that…

    And mentioned as I learned in College when someone continues to use ad hominem attacks that usually b/c they might not have enough of an intellect to answer a simply question that has been asked of them MORE than once!

    But I need prayer b/c I would love to call her a few choice names, which wouldn’t honor Jesus…

    • John A Fagliano says:

      I think a good number of Atheists are Jesus deniers. That because His proven existence might shoot a big hole in their atheism even if they don’t believe He rose from the dead. The following link might help. It might help if she read it too.

      • Awesome article, John – thanks for saving it and passing it along!

        It’s especially pleasing to read a daily publication (with no evident affiliation to any church or religion) that both acknowledges and enquires:
        “These abundant historical references leave us with little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died. The more interesting question – which goes beyond history and objective fact – is whether Jesus died and lived.”

      • Mark D Seguin says:

        TY 4 the Article brother John, yet pretty sure she would not read such a lengthy one…. But TY 4 the correct spelling of the 1st Century Jewish historian: Josephus, which I mentioned to her & of course miss – spelled… She replied he might have made him up. Of course I replied, that’s a little bit dumbfounding to me, simply b/c why would a 1st century Jewish historian write Jesus was a real person and therefore propagate the Christian faith – it makes no sense….

        And then she brought up there’s a bunch of evidence of centuries ago kings, but not Jesus. To which I asked her what proof does she have for the Roman Empire Julies Cesar? Also, asked her about the National Geography special that aired on PBS that showed the Church of the Holy Specialer (sp?) in Jerusalem while being restored the Tomb was in fact a 1st Century tomb..

        And in praying more about it, I’ve about decided as Dale Carnigie (sp?) writes a man convinced against hi will is of his opinion still. So I might just wish her God’s speed & tell her I love her and so does God & if she ever would like someone to pray for her orer family to plz feel free to ask me…

  3. Toni Petrella says:

    This weekends big game means so much to both teams and I cannot route for either of them but, I wish them both the best. I like the Niners but, had a feeling they would lose against the Rams in the playoffs. No matter who wins both teams should be proud of themselves and fans proud of them. I have seen many of those big games over the years and routed for various teams. I still enjoy those moments but, as I have been saying at times I feel blessed to be on God’s team and without his son to save us all nothing really matters much if one doesn’t have that relationship with Jesus now and forever.

  4. John A Fagliano says:

    Like you, John I can always find God in the “secular” world. Right now, it’s hard for me to get into the Super Bowl because I’m really into the Winter Olympics! I love the story of snowboarder Max Parrot. 3 years after Hodgkins lymphoma he is back in the Olympics, this time winning gold. Then there is the great story of redemption involving snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis. 16 years after her infamous faux pas, she has finally won Olympic gold at age 36.

    Being from Northern California I’m kinda neutral on the Big Game, but I’m pulling for the Rams because I think they are the better team and therefor more deserving. Matthew Stafford would be another good reason.

    By the way, I found Randall’s comments on symbolism of Baseball, Basketball and Football very interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.