During a few seconds of random radio listening while driving around today, I chanced upon ESPN radio and heard the coach of the University of Utah football team discussing the BYU-Utah rivalry shortly before today’s game. He began talking about the “intensity” of the relationship, but then switched to the more accurate word: “hate.” Several times he referred to the “hatred” that exists between the teams.
Hatred between two Utah schools? Maybe most of the hate comes from the Utes or their fans (so I would like to believe), but it is still shocking that “hate” would be the proper term
adjective. The coach said it was strong and implied you have to see it to really believe it. What hath football wrought?
Church sports don’t always seem to promote the best of feelings between different wards or branches. I remember when I was back in Provo, a young new bishop was called in the ward where we attended, and on his first Sunday as bishop, this man – a really fine and even great man – felt compelled to humbly apologize to the ward for the poor sportsmanship and inappropriate language he had used in the recent past during Church basketball events. He asked forgiveness of all those he had offended.
How many Latter-day Saints have been on the spiritual sidelines with sports-related injuries to the soul?
Do we need separation of Church and sports? If only we could apply the principles of the prayer circle from the Temple to sports, encouraging people to participate only if they have the best of feelings toward the others.
Fortunately, out here in Wisconsin, we don’t have an organized sports program – and Zion prospers.