10 Similarities Between Sport & Religion

The Riders once again beat the Bombers in the annual Labour Day Classic at Taylor Field and, with the game happening on a Sunday, I got to thinking about some of the similarities between team sports and religion

1. Both sport and religion take place in ornate temples regarded as holy by adherents.

2. Each team’s followers think theirs is the one true way.

3. Violence often results from the clash of differing views.

4. Followers are often born into their beliefs – either because they are indoctrinated into their parents’ beliefs at an early age and/or due to the accident of geography that is their birth.  (As an obvious example, I cheer for the Riders who play in a city less than an hour from where I was born and raised.)

5. Each has a holy book that outlines the rules of the game (although each is open to interpretation – as we definitely saw in today’s game!)

6. Both rely on ritual – both on the field and off.   (Think: Certain songs played at certain times, the 3rd Quarter Stretch, Kiss-Cams and the like.)

7. Each claims to speak to a sort of purity and higher ideals but in reality, has finances and money as an underlying driver and sport and religion are both often wracked by scandal.

8. Certain commentators are regarded as prophets, certain players create miracles.  In fact, to borrow from the article I linked to above, much of the language of sport and religion is very similar – dedication, faith,commitment, worship, sacrifice, etc.

9. On a less snarky note, both are often strongly connected to community and charity.

10.  No matter how much we invest in either, both are ultimately meaningless! 😉

Comments 1

  1. Lisa wrote:


    (Except #10, but otherwise spot-on!)

    Posted 05 Sep 2010 at 10:26 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Head Tale - Music Monday – “And the tips in a small town/Are so small/You may as well/Just give them back” on 07 Sep 2010 at 11:04 am

    […] if you missed yesterday’s post, my views on religion in general are pretty clear.  But I wonder if there might be something to […]

  2. From Head Tale - Refer Madness on 22 May 2013 at 8:21 pm

    […] “Similarities between sports and religion” – 10+ times […]

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