(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
“The Rams are back, the Super Bowl is back, and The Great Lewis Lazarus never left.” So goes the last sentence of an article in the Los Angeles Times today about the 91-year-old Lazarus who claims he is the oldest and greatest Rams fan alive. He was 14 when the Rams moved west from Cleveland and played their first game in the Coliseum in 1946 against the Washington Redskins before a crowd of 95,000, and Lewis was there. Since then he has seen them play in the Coliseum in Anaheim, he has followed them religiously in St. Louis, welcomed them back to L.A. and has attended a game at SoFi Stadium. He will not be present at the Super Bowl on Sunday, however, but he’ll have a front row couch seat in front of his neighbor’s 65-inch TV screen. In 75 years he has seen every game the Rams have played either in person or on television with the exception of his service in the Korean War.
What is it about this game that demands such loyalty and persistence? It’s as if his life has literally revolved around Rams football. As Randall Balmer pointed out in his BlogTalkRadio interview on Tuesday, sports is the new religion in America. Well, that’s no threat to Christianity, if that’s what you’re thinking, because Christianity isn’t a religion anyway. So you can follow Jesus and your favorite football team without a conflict in loyalty.
I certainly will, adjusting our online church service on Sunday, which usually starts at 6:00 p.m. Pacific, to avoid having to stop watching in the fourth quarter in order to start church. How could you possibly see the first three quarters of a game you knew you would have to back away from in the final quarter? I would rather not watch at all than to put myself through that kind of frustration. So our online church on Sunday will begin at 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. Anyway, that’s the more godly time for church, right? They say it’s the holiest hour of the week, except it’s not, because every hour is holy. Life is holy. Football is holy. It all depends on how you see it.
So “The Rams are back, the Super Bowl is back, and The Great Lewis Lazarus never left.” Go Lewis!