An Open Letter from God to the Pious Athlete


My children, I realize you may find it odd I chose this means to communicate with you. Given the nature of my message, I thought, a site in which such issues are addressed, would be perfect.  I enjoy the site…I particularly like that geeky Star Trek guy, I forget his name.  Yay, verily I say unto yo, I chose this alternate media to communicate with you for a simple reason: while the sin I would like to address is serious, I admit, my usual methods of communicating my irritation–floods, pillars of salt, Christian rock–may be disproportionate punishment.

Before I criticize, you should all understand that I love you all with an infinite love that you cannot comprehend. The span of the universe cannot contain it. Be aware that all of you are equals in my eyes.  Regardless whether you are rich or poor, whether you live a pious life or you steal, whether you come from a great city or from New York City, or even if you are partially responsible for the song “Let It Go.”  (You would do well going forward to give that song a rest, if you catch my drift.)

Now it is time to gather and contemplate the sin of vanity.

How many of you recall this image.


It’s San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds thanking me for his 756th home run. Now, I don’t mind that Mr. Bonds was cheating when he hit that home run.  When has history proven that I hate cheaters?  OK, there was the Ten Commandments, ( #7? 8?), but cheaters have always been close to my heart. Just look at corporate executives and their private jets.  Look at Congress. Look at the entire Republican Party. “God helps those who help themselves.”  I invented that cliche for a reason.

My infinite love notwithstanding, what Mr. Bonds could not fit into that distended head of his is that I am not a fan. I was not counting his home runs, nor guiding any of his hits over the fence.  In fact, forgive my honesty here, I was trying to make him miss. That breeze from centerfield that seemed to kick up when he started his mighty, albeit amplified swing. Me. The nasty curveball the seemed to deaden and drop just before it reached the plate. Me. Not a fan.

Truth be told, when I watch baseball, I root for the Phillies. They have what, over 10,000 losses? They’re like baseball’s Book of Job. (Eagles, too, for that matter.  How many Super Bowl wins do they have?  I mean, the quarterback threw up on national tv.  I love it.)


It’s not just Bonds. I see it time and time again.  Athletes thanking me for their success.  Pointing to the sky on reaching second base.  Or after an impressive dunk?  Tapping their chests and sticking their fingers up as if signaling the waiter.  To all of you, I just have one message: Get over yourselves.


Here’s the deal: I see kids fighting terminal cancer at age 7, I have taken whole towns from you–whole cities–with a single sweep of my hands. I watch with sadness as you take bread from each other, as you drive past your brothers begging in the streets, as you arm your children and your demented and allow them to go kill other children.  It’s not that my plate is full–I can handle it.  But while thousands of you die in a genocide, or kill each other on Chicago streets, while cities are wiped out by flood, and while the mean neighbor kid kills Billy’s new puppy and creates a bitter memory that will last forever, do you think I care if the Heat takes the Spurs in game 1?  Not to mention the fact I know who wins already.

Players, go out and have fun. Get a hit, break tackles, reach your end-zone, but please don’t keep telling yourselves I’m so focused on you I made it happen. Stop believing that I cared more about you than I did about your opponents who wanted to stop you, or the 6 billion other people in the world who have more pressing issues.  It’s not all about you.

And Tim, I hate to say it, but that verse you used to paint on your face is why I’m not allowing you to play anymore.



PS. Go Phillies. You know, they’re going to win the Series again in…ah, you’ll have to find out for yourselves.  (Don’t hold your breath waiting, though.)

Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Robert Phillips

Robert Phillips is a Miami lawyer still deciding what he wants to do for a living. Once a lover of Pynchon, Pinter, and any other artist whose work he barely understood, he has since "come home" to genre fiction and fandom, where he truly belongs. He focuses most of his fan-attention on his wife Elena and his three little girls, who will one day be a female president, a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and a supermodel/astrophysicist. (He's not sure which one will be which yet.)

Comments are closed.