Updated: October 7, 2015

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-–What’s the No. 1 Religion in America? I know most of you will probably say Christianity?

We are a Christian Nation, right? Wrong.

No, America the No. 1 Religion is not Christianity, Islam, or Judaism?

Sorry Abraham. It’s Football!! Football!!! Yeah, football?

I know you are saying to yourself, that’s sacrilegious. You idiot. You’re going to hell with a Detroit Lions jersey on. I know you think, I’m the Anti-Christ now or maybe HBO’s Bill Maher.

But Football is America’s favorite religion; It’s worshipped on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday (if you graduated from High School) and Saturday if you went to community college.

80f6cea03edfdd14b21c9ab290cb9c45Football, in fact, is worshiped by all people regardless of race, color, class or creed. It is discussed in the morning over coffee, debated in the lunchroom at work, talked about at the dinner table at home, and even secretly whispered about during the Sunday sermon at church.

We all have to secretly admit, we do worship athletes like Gods expecting them to give meaning to our “meaningless” lives, expecting them to perform miracles each Sunday and curse them out when they turn-out to be mere mortals like ourselves.

And just like other organized religions that appear on television, we blindly give these players large sums of money in order for them to live like kings in houses larger than castles, drive in Rolls Royces, and wear 8-button suits that make them look like pimps.

But that really doesn’t bother us, because we love them and some of us even adorn our bodies with their names on our backs by purchasing their expensive jerseys and pretend to walk in their shoes (oops).dbe43684eba585a976326009f64451ea

I’m sorry, we do walk-in their shoes. Hopefully, we are not walking around in O.J.’s shoes. I guess, that’s why they call it FOOT LOCKER (I’m kidding, just keep reading)

Some of us even go so far as to tattoo our favorite athlete’s number on our body, and name our children after them (Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson). Now that’s crazy.

I am sorry to inform you but they are religious extremists in all faiths. Football, as a religion, is no exception so don’t blame the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Some football fanatics show their devotion to their faith in football by standing shirtless in sub-below zero temperatures with cheese on the top of their heads, yelling hysterically in a wild religious frenzy, while beating their chest, until they pass out in a drunken stupor.

Others, however, hang their favorite athlete’s pictures on their walls and build small alters and shrines to honor them in their homes.

Most of the statues of our athletes turned gods are made of bronze and are placed in the Hall of Fame so future generations can remember them.

Along with these bronze bust dedicated to our beloved ballers, we also find ourselves debating and arguing over past and present players stats like two Southern Baptist preachers debating scripture.

This confusion and conflict over stats usually ends in a fight at the barber shop which is equivalent to the war in the Middle East.

Remember this, before you try to convert somebody, the Washington Redskins will always HATE the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Cowboys will always HATE the Washington Redskins.cowboys_offensive

It is sorta like the Muslims and Christians. Protestant against Catholics.

Sorry Jesus, but they will never be peace in the NFC East!!

Despite the end of the world peaking through the clouds, like all other major religions, there has to be a holy book to inform the people and keep them on the right track. In the faith of football, Sports Illustrated is equivalent to the King James Version of the Bible.

For that reason, most people honestly believe it to be the word of God and the gospel of truth.

But most scholars and skeptics, question its authenticity.

As a result, some scholars agree to disagree that the book is a poor interpretation of sports history, filled with half-truths, myths, misinformation and cleverly written stories by a council of Caucasians writers, who tried to white wash and wipe us out of the lineup. And just like all westernized religions, they made the savior of the sport of football, white aka Brett Favre.

But don’t let that little setback destroy your FAITH in football; we know the truth, because football flows through your blood. Football is in your heart. Besides, your heart does not pump kool-aid.

Don’t deny the feeling. Let the spirit of victory take over your body.

Don’t let them tell you miracles aren’t real. Just ask Super Bowl heroes Santonio Holmes of the Pittsburgh Steelers and David Tyree of the New York Giants!!david-tyree-strohmeyer

Don’t let them tell you NOT to BELIEVE in HAIL MARYS. Just ask Roger Staubach or Doug Flutie.

So don’t lose faith my brothers and sisters, don’t start playing soccer. It’s a false religion just like Arena Football, because a half-truth is an absolute LIE!!! No lie.

So, despite the constant downfalls, fumbles, interceptions, and disappointments, we continue to place our hopes and dreams in football, because FOOTBALL is the answer.

Just like the Pointer Sisters sung so beautifully with Richard Pryor aka Daddy Rich in the cult classic Car Wash, “If you gotta believe in something, why not believe in me?

As a result, we continue to believe in that 47-year-old kicker with no face mask, two bad knees, four divorces, and a drinking problem, will make that last second field goal from 60 yards away, in the snow, barefoot, with a 50 miles per hour wind blowing in his face, which has frozen his mustache.

We still believe the Cleveland Browns are going to win the Super Bowl.

We still believe that our son with absolutely no athletic ability, who loves watching “High School Musical”, will grow up to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

But remember “anything is possible” in football.johnny-manziel-nfl-preseason-cleveland-browns-washington-redskins17-850x560

So I suggest you place your unbelieving son in front of the television set and let them watch ESPN or the NFL Network which is equivalent to watching Pat Robeson and the 700 Club until he is programmed and brainwashed into loving football and HATING everything else.

If your son still isn’t convinced that football is the only sport to play, let him watch and listen to sports talk radio and watch an unlimited supply of football movies like Remember the Titans, Any Given Sunday, Gridiron Gang, North Dallas Forty, Rudy and We are Marshall until his soul is restored.

But if this does not work, introduce him to the cult ritual of animal sacrifices which usually is in the form of chopped Bar-B-Q during a tailgating party. Sorry Muslims and Jews, it’s a football tradition.

Swine is permitted here.

If he is old enough allow him to sip or guzzle down a cheap beer. Doesn’t the scripture say “EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY?” Lighten up, don’t take life so serious. We are talking about football!!

After all of this, if your son is still rejecting the faith of football, christen him in a baptismal ceremony by bathing him in holy water of green Gatorade after a victory.

After he gets drenched in Gatorade, he will be doing a victory dance like Chad Ocho Cinco and thanking Jesus Christ like the Broncos Tim Tebow.

He’ll also be shouting like T.O., yelling and speaking in tongues like Ray Lewis, crying like Tony Romo, and even confessing his sins like Michael Vick.

And, now without a shadow of a doubt, I have proven that Football is America’s No. 1 religion.

Fortunately, Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones already knew this. That’s why he build a $1 billion stadium with a hole in the roof so God could watch his favorite team play on a BIG SCREEN TELEVISION.New-Cowboys-Stadium-1-610x406

Eric D.Graham,a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently a Sports Columnist at the Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at

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