Super Bowl stories with plenty of Christian overtones

Sunday evening as you plop down on the couch with your chicken wings and nachos in hand to watch Super Bowl XLIV you are likely to see one of the better offensive showdowns in the game’s long history.

Both the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints have plenty of firepower in their passing games behind two of the game’s best tacticians at quarterback. I’ll get to a little bit more about the Xs and Os in a minute, but there are a few reasons to watch the game from a Christian perspective.

The Tim Tebow ad – There has been more than enough back and forth on the University of Florida quarterback’s pro-life ad underwritten by Focus on the Family. The assumption is Pam Tebow will discuss her decision to give birth to Tim over the advice of Filipino doctors who counseled her to have an abortion, relying on her faith. While I’m sure the ad will be well put together and Tebow will be his usual articulate self, I have to wonder if all the hype surrounding it is warranted. Even beyond what the reaction to it will be is how the ad will shape Super Bowl advertising in the future. Advocacy ads, regardless of your politics, seldom show up aside talking frogs selling beer.

Faith on the field – Tony Dungy may no longer be the coach of the Colts yet the team still has a powerful faith profile to it. Head coach Jim Caldwell, who is a rookie in name only, has maintained coaches’ Bible studies during Super Bowl week and makes no secret of his faith even if it isn’t as overt as Dungy. Similarly, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees shared a revealing interview with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes recently talking about how he felt God led him to the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. An interesting thing to watch will be the post-game reaction. The last time the Super Bowl was in Miami the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears and paused their celebration for a team prayer around the Lombardi Trophy.

Doritos – No this is not a shameless advertisement buried in the blog for taco chips, although there is a particular reason to pay attention to its ads. Doritos asked for homemade video productions for its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest allowing people to use their best YouTube skills to get a video shown during the Super Bowl. A Los Angeles megachurch is among the six finalists, three of whom will have their ad broadcast during the game, all receiving a hefty paycheck. By the way, pass the cool ranch chips, please.

As for the game… — Living in Indianapolis I could risk bodily harm if I didn’t pick the Colts and it is hard not too from an analytical point of view. The strongest piece of evidence is the NFC Championship game. If the Minnesota Vikings hadn’t turned the ball over five times and if Brett Favre hadn’t thrown that last-second interception which will remain central in the team’s lore until it does win a Super Bowl, the Vikings would have won going away. As potent as the Saints offense is the game still went to overtime despite all the Minnesota miscues. The Colts offense, although not more balanced, is better than Minnesota’s and to bet against Peyton Manning picking apart a defense with surgical precision is foolhardy. Colts 35, Saints 20.

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