In the fall of 1984, Dr. Max Gaulke, college president, Houston, Texas, sent to me 13 definitions that were from the pen of the Earl J. Banning of Houston. I have added 70 or more definitions out of my own experience. Bob Fallstrom, legendary sports writer and editor, Decatur, IL, encouraged me to write these church related football definitions.
They have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and many other countries.
It’s time for the game and “Football Theology” to get under way. These definitions do not represent the best in football and certainly not the best theology, but they can bring a smile, even laughter and that will be worth the effort. It’s kick-off time so read on.
1. DRAFT CHOICE – the decision to sit close to a heating vent in winter or an air conditioning vent in summer.
2. END ZONE – the pews.
3. THREE POINT STANCE – being present, on time, with your Bible in hand.
4. PASS INTERFERENCE – what Mama does with her eyes when she sees Johnny writing a note to his friends in church.
5. IN THE POCKET – where too many church members keep God’s tithe and their offerings.
6. QUARTERBACK SNEAK – Sunday School officers and teachers sneaking into the building five minutes after Sunday School begins.
7. TWO MINUTE WARNING – the Chairman of the Board sitting on the front row, shaking his watch in full view of the preacher.
8. BENCH WARMER – an inactive church member.
9. FUMBLE – a lousy sermon.
10. REFEREE – a nursery worker presiding over differences of opinion as to who was playing with the doll first.
11. DEAD HEAT – a lukewarm church member waking up in the middle of a dynamic, colorful sermon on hell
12. EXTRA POINT – what you receive when you tell the preacher his sermon was too short.
13. CHEERLEADERS – ladies complimenting the preacher on his sermon.
14. QUARTERBACK – what church members, who believe religion is free, want after putting 50 cent in the offering.
15. PASSING GAME – what the ushers do with offering plates on Sunday morning.
16. HEAD COACH – the pastor.
17. ASSISTANT COACHES – ministerial staff and Sunday School teachers.
18. GROUND CREW – custodians.
19. LINEBACKERS – church members who can stop any forward progress.
20. CORNERBACKS – those who occupy the back pews.
21. END AROUND – diaper changing time in the nursery.
22. HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT – beautiful music presented during the offering.
23. INTERFERENCE – whispering and talking during the sermon.
24. ILLEGAL MOTION – leaving before the benediction.
25. PENALTY – what the church gets when its members stay home.
26. PUNT – what the pastor does when nothing else seems to work.
27. FAN RESPONSE – saying “Amen” to the sermon.
28. HUDDLE – weekly meeting of the church gossip team.
29. SCALPING TICKETS – people trying to buy their way into heaven.
30. RUNNING BACKS – those who run out and back in several times during a worship service.
31. DRAFT CHOICE #2 – beverage of your choice. (Contributed by Lorne Boatman of Decatur, IL.)
32. HOLDING PENALTY – result of church members who believe nothing can be done about
33. NATIONAL ANTHEM – the choir and congregation doing their best singing “Amazing Grace.”
34. TACKLE – what an alert usher does when a child is sneaking out of the service.
35. END RUN – a child who successfully escapes both parents and ushers on his way out of church.
36. FAIR CATCH – holding the offering plate in front of each member until money is placed in it.
37. SAFETY – when the offering reaches budget level.
38. FIELD GOAL – when Sunday School and worship attendance is above average.
39. SUPER BOWL SHUFFLE – the choir at its best on Easter Sunday morning.
40. QUARTERBACK SACK – the bag in which the ushers place the offering.
41. CLIPPING – what the church historian is always doing.
42. BLOCKING – standing in the church door complaining to the pastor about his morning sermon.
43. PLACE KICKER – kicking in the right place.
44. GUARDS – those who guard and defend the standards of the church because they cannot live up to them.
45. FULLBACK – what the choir, seated behind the preacher, sees while the sermon is delivered.
46. HALF BACK – what the choir sees if it is seated beside the preacher.
47. REFRIGERATORS – over stuffed deacons who like to throw their weight around.
48. FRIGETTES – the wives of deacons who also like to throw their weight around.
49. NOSE GUARD – a nursery worker during the flu season.
50. PEP TALK – a poor excuse for a good sermon.
51. UMPIRE – an elder who presides over a church squabble.
52. COMMISSIONER – the person in charge of selling headbands during the annual bazaar or the presiding bishop who may know more about football then he does “bishing.”
53. TOUCHDOWN – when attendance and giving records are broken.
54. FINAL GUN – the benediction.
55. SUPER BOWL CHAMPION – a church doing the will of God.
56. WIDE RECEIVERS – overweight ushers waddling down the aisle to receive the offering.
These 56 definitions may be used in a Sunday School Class, in the morning sermon and at the Super Bowl Parties. Those parties will be held in homes, churches, restaurants, service clubs and wherever people meet across the nation and the world.
Have fun with these unusual thoughts. You may know people who fit each one. I invite you to share any new ones with me.
May every day be a real-life Super Bowl Day for you, your family and friends.