"First of all, I can't be more blessed to be part of a whole team like this. Man, God was with us."
-Gene Chizik, head coach at Auburn
Such blasphemy must have had over-zealous Christians all over the country gawking in disbelief and anger. Religion is always a touchy subject outside of church or any other spiritual location, community, or event. Yet it always seems to find its way into the mouths, thoughts, and writings of individuals outside of said holy situations, oftentimes at the strangest and most inappropriate moments. Obviously, this was the case for Auburn's head coach Gene Chizik moments after his team dispatched of the Oregon Ducks in the National Title Game.
Is it possible that a higher being did indeed determine the outcome of the National Championship, giving the Tigers the win? It could be. Maybe God, along with the rest of the world, was visually offended by the uniform atrocity that the Ducks were wearing, especially those Day-Glo colored cleats on their webbed feet. Maybe it was transcendent karma for the legal infractions committed by current and past members of the Oregon team. But that can't be the case. Auburn has had it's own share of problems in regards to its student athletes, namely one Cameron Jerrell Newton. His heavily documented pay-for-play scheme, for which father Cecil took the fall, is enough to level out an alleged deity-aided playing field. If not, then let's go ahead and throw in the academic cheating scandal back in Gainesville to turn the table a little more.
Or maybe God had absolutely nothing to do with football, including this game. After all, there was a tragic shooting down the I-17 just two days before. It is guaranteed that there are plenty of reasons why His aid and comfort would be needed in Tucson. How selfish and self-absorbed of Chizik to infer that God had helped his team win when there are other more pressing, more imperative matters going on so close to the stadium. Sure, he may be thankful that the Diety gave him the ability and talent to coach and his players the skill and athleticism that they have to play, but that's as far as it goes.
–adjective, -er, -est.
1. excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.
2. proceeding from or showing personal vanity: vain remarks.
3. ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile: a vain effort.
4. without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless: vain pageantry; vain display.
5. Archaic . senseless or foolish.
Oh, so kind of like claiming that God made your team win while ignoring the guys on the other side of the field. Really, why did Oregon even show up and try and play this one?
How about this: Auburn won because Chip Kelley made some very poor coaching decisions and his players made a few mental errors that cost them the game. How about kicking a field goal on fourth-and-goal with 2:26 left in the third quarter? How about using your time out at the end to assure that your Ducks would get the ball back with time left on the clock late in the fourth quarter? How about Cliff Harris finish the tackle on Michael Dyer and not let him scamper off for 30 more yards? As Coach Petersen of Boise State said, "One play can't lose a game, but one play can win a game." Agreed, but a number of poor plays (and decisions) can add up and eventually become too much for your team to overcome. Such was the case in Glendale, Arizona on Monday night.
There are many motives and causes for which humans strive to reach their full potential, regardless of their chosen path or direction. Division 1 football coaches are no different. A belief in God or being a faithful member of a certain religion can indeed guide someone in their preferred quest. But when it comes to individual athletic events and competitions, you are on your own. A higher entity does not choose sides or tilt the advantage one way or the other, even if you are BYU...or Gene Chizik.