An exasperated parishioner once wrote me a note explaining that my references to sports in sermons were not effective for her and, in fact, were increasingly irritating. She didn’t understand them, didn’t like competitive sports of any kind, and suspected that the American sports ethos might be responsible for the mess America makes in the world.
Years before, a teenage daughter sharply objected to the dominance of sports talk between father and sons at the dinner table. “Is that all you guys care about?” she asked. “Well, no,” I meekly answered. The other boys, 11 and nine at the time, said, “Yes.” She, by the way, was a fine and highly competitive athlete.