Indianapolis, full of grace

While housesitting this weekend, I got a chance to read the newspaper- yes, that's right, the old-fashioned paper version. Of course Indianapolis is abuzz with Super Bowl fever, and there were articles coming at it from every angle. A couple caught my eye.
  • An interesting Indy Star article asking the question, is it OK to pray for the outcome of a sporting event? Most specifically, it quotes our Colts:
    Peyton Manning said he wasn't sure whether it was right to pray for help during the tense final moments of the Colts' victory Sunday night.
    But plenty of other people around Manning think he shouldn't have even hesitated.
    Colts center Jeff Saturday, who spends most of the game just a fanny pat away from Manning, said he prayed during the entire AFC Championship Game.
    Coach Tony Dungy said he, too, prayed throughout that desperate struggle that the Patriots wouldn't be dancing at the end of the day. "I said, 'Lord, don't let these guys celebrate on our field,' " he said.
    Several Colts have devout Christian beliefs, Saturday said, and frequently they pray for one another. One of the things they pray for is a "God moment" -- an inexplicable situation that arises on the field and that might offer them the chance to "give God the glory."
    Such a moment arrived for Saturday against the Patriots. A loose ball squirted out at the goal line, and the big Colts center fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown. Linemen rarely get a chance to score points. And it was Saturday's first touchdown since pee wee league.
    "There's no rhyme or reason why, but God gets the glory because he did it," Saturday said.
    But all this praying raises some interesting questions. Does God choose sides in sporting contests? And does God favor the team with the most devout players and coaches?
    An interesting question, to be sure. There were mixed opinions in the article - the Colts chaplain and Dungy's pastor both said it was fine and good to pray for the Colts' success. A philosophy professor and a nun weren't so sure that a prayer to win would be effective with God, who is impartial. What do you guys think? Is it OK to pray for little things like sports outcomes? Would God hear & act on a prayer like that?

  • A Chicago Tribune editorial reprinted in the Indianapolis Star bashing Indianapolis as a boring town with none of the benefits of big-city life, like Chicago. The tone was gruffer than just friendly chiding, and that was kind of annoying. It sounded as if they genuinely looked down on us. Not very nice. After listing why Chicago is a great city, the editorial says
    Indianapolis has . . . hmmmm.
    OK. That's not fair. Although, to be sure, there is whopping great pie of all kinds in Indiana.
    Indianapolis is undoubtedly a utopia in its own eyes, as every hometown is. Of course, it has a racetrack that is the focus of the nation-on-wheels once a year, a race car fantasyland. It has a symphony. Churches. Highways that let you zip by without even looking at downtown.
    and goes on to point out that even Hoosiers, when they want big-city life, don't go to their own city, but to Chicago instead.

  • The second editorial was another article from the Indy Star rebutting the Chicago editorial. It was not, however, an in-kind defense, but instead a graceful response that I appreciated very much. It was still tongue-in-cheek, but gentler and more graceful. More Indianapolis-esque, I guess:
    We'll come visit, but we like it here
    Our position: Hey, Chicago, let's be friends. It looks like you need one.

    Here is where we're supposed to engage in a little trash talking.
    Our colleagues at the Chicago Tribune have spent the week since their Bears won the honor of playing our Colts in the Super Bowl attempting to stir up animosity between the two cities. The Tribune's editorial page launched the first salvo on Tuesday in an opinion piece reprinted below. After waxing with praise about their own hometown (making it sound almost as grand as New York, Portland or Orlando), the Tribune's writers conceded that Indiana does have great pie to offer weary travelers on their way from Effingham to Dayton.
    We were set to respond in kind when a thought rocketed across our minds like a Manning-to-Harrison bomb: What would Dungy do?
    The Colts head coach has heard his share of taunts (fans in Baltimore likely still have certain fingers raised in salute). But it's hard to imagine Tony Dungy responding with anything harsher than a sharp stare.
    He's also great friends with his counterpart in Chicago, whose name, for goodness sake, is Lovie. How can anyone hope to start a border war when the Dungys and the Smiths are liable to invite the whole gang over for a picnic (with extra corn on the cob for Tarik Glenn and Brian Urlacher)?
    So, in the spirit of Lovie and Tony, let's agree that Chicago is the greatest No. 3 city in the nation.
    And it's true, as the Tribune trumpeted, that Hoosiers like to visit Chicago to see the sights. We've found the panhandlers in Millennium Park to be especially entertaining.
    But most Hoosiers also have the good sense not to stay for long. A city where you pay $400,000 to live in a walk-in closet just isn't our style.


beth said...

Haha, the Star makes a good point about how Dungy would not lower himself to such standards by responding in kind, then they go and do it anyways at the end.

But that really is an awesome testimony for Dungy!

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Ashley said...

Actually, I loved the comment at the end! I thought it was the perfect response. :-)

Thanks for these, Joanna, I enjoyed reading them.

Kristen said...

here- http://krismich.blogspot.com/2007/01/my-thoughts-on-prayer.html
my response was too long for your comment box...way too long :-)

see you tomorrow!

mrs.burke said...

Hey, I think it's time to take down that super bowl countdown banner now-- it's making my head spin.

Joanna said...

Um, it is down... try refreshing your browser or clearing your cache. :)

But you're right, the banner didn't deal well with negative numbers.


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