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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Touchdown Jesus

Save for the amazing turn around of Chris Kaman of the Clippers, it's been a pretty dull basketball season. I've enjoyed watching Mr. Kaman since he first came to my attention. The Clippers had just returned from a game in Milwaukee, during which Mr. Kaman had an attack of appendicitis. He did not return with the team as he was having his ruptured appendix removed. He returned a day later to the Los Angeles AND THE GAME. I just couldn't believe it. I've had similar surgery, and offer it up as I might, it was as though I had been mugged by a knife wielding appendix thief. Play basketball with a stab wound? Do you know why they called them "cagers"? The game was so rough it had to be played in cage to protect the fans. The NBA has cleaned up the game considerably but it still isn't tea time.

Anyhow, Mr. Kaman used to be a very uneven player, great one game, goofy the next. This year his is just terrific. All Star material. Why? All his life he has been misdiagnosed with ADD. I forget what it is he actually has, but he has learned to control it with bio feedback. He had been unable to remember what play the coach had called by the time he trotted back onto the floor. Now he's a dynamo.

Bio feed back.

I'll bet saying the rosary would work just as well.

Which brings me to today's question:
Sister as a fan do you have any comment on ESPN reporter Dana Jacobson and her filthy comments on Jesus? Any ideas on why ESPN would be covering for her? Any ideas on how Christians should be reacting? I'm too mad for ideas, my hand is just itching to slap her filthy mouth.

You must calm down. Anger is a sin. You shouldn't be itching to slap anyone and you don't know the first thing about her mouth. Most people who appear on television have impossibly white teeth and I'm sure they do a lot of brushing and flossing.

So first of all, let's get the story straight before we hang this poor girl with an oh, so very Christian lynch mob.

Miss Jacobson was at the podium for an ESPN roast of "Mike and Mike", two football players who host some kind of football program on ESPN. I don't watch ESPN hardly ever. I prefer games on TNT, because I like Kenny "the Jet" Smith, Charles Barkley (who has REALLY let himself go) and Ernie Johnson. Anyhow, this roast was not televised. The only press in the room was the Atlantic City Press.

We do know, from those present, that Miss Jacobson was swilling vodka (I believe that's the term they used) right from the bottle and swearing like a sailor. She was saying that she didn't care much for Notre Dame, Notre Dame football, and something about "Touchdown Jesus", the famous Notre Dame mural. She was using bad language when she did all this.

We know she was not pretending to drink or pretending to be drunk (for the sake of humor) because at some point someone managed to get her off the stage and she managed to get back on the stage.

I am familiar with this activity, as the mayor of my home town many years ago was notorious for doing just that at ribbon cutting ceremonies. The city police would drive him home and he would escape again, until one day the state police caught him driving down the sidewalk of the main street saying, "Tee hee hee, you can't catch me!" We know this because it was during the big CB radio craze and my aunt heard the whole thing.

What we do not know is what she actually said. I doubt she remembers much of what went on. The man from the Atlantic Press--now PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS PART--has said that he never heard her say what she has been accused of saying and when he asked other people who were there, they said THEY NEVER HEARD IT EITHER.

So how should a Christian react?

Let's use the Mel Gibson model of what sins were actually committed:

1. Getting drunk. Luckily for Catholics and those who attend Notre Dame, drinking is not a sin. Getting drunk might be a sin under some circumstances and only becomes a mortal sin if you get behind the wheel of a car or scrub into a surgical procedure.

2. Swearing. Venial sin.

3. Hating Notre Dame. It's a sin to hate. But Miss Jacobson is a Michigan University fan, so I think her remarks weren't so much 'hate' as sports rivalry fueled by alcohol.

I think she's pretty much off the hook, here. Should she be fired? I don't think so. She was at a party and she behaved badly. Very badly. We really don't know what she said exactly to to keep ranting about her over the internets and such actually becomes a whole new sin, slander. We'll have to start our own sin columns.

Who should be upset? The makers of Belvedere vodka, whose product was represented in a bad light. Even that poor red faced William Donohue believes that ESPN has handled the situation fairly. "I am happy to say that after speaking to two ESPN officials today, and having learned more about exactly what happened, that they are in fact taking this matter seriously," said Catholic League president Bill Donahue in a statement released Thursday. "Indeed, I am convinced that what occurred at the roast will not happen again."

I was actually more shocked to find that everyone calls the mural "Touchdown Jesus". I shouldn't be.


Tienne said...

That's the University OF Michigan, Sister. :) Not that I'm defending her comments. Or the drinking. Or the swearing.

But the anti-ND sentiment...Let's just say it's a pretty tall statement to declare yourself "God's Football Team," especially when you don't win that much.

La Bibliotecaria Laura said...

I think Jesus would prefer soccer to American football.

Mimi said...

Sister, Is it a sin simply to feel angry, or does one sin as a result of expressing anger?

Anonymous said...

No, no; feelings are human and perfectly natural! Don't supress feelings, don't deny that you have them and don't think that feelings are "bad" (or you will be in therapy for a long, long time....get and read a copy of Catholic dr Conrad Baars "Healing and Feeling your Emotions). They are an intrinsic part of being human. It's all about what you choose to do because of those feelings.

Martha said...

A few days ago, you mentioned that the boys had given you a book on how to do a podcast. If you do decide to enter the podcasting fray, I'll listen!

happy appy wife said...

The saddest part of this story (to me) is that Miss Jacobson's behavior is all too common from women in today's public arena.

Some young girl, aspiring to be a journalist, may hold Miss Jacobson as a role model, and thusly believe that her behavior is suitable for a woman.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Dear happy appy,

I sincerely doubt that would happen.

Anonymous said...

Jesus got angry, really, really angry, when he through the money changers out of His Father's house.

Sarah said...

Hi Sister,
This is a question rather than a comment so sorry it's in the wrong spot (I couldn't find the right spot but am not deterred!)
I'm a postulant (non-habit-wearing benedictine congregation) and, as I approach novitiate, am thinking about shaving my head. Can you tell me about why Sisters do/did that? and what do you reckon about me doing it? I'm a thoroughly modern girl and not sure where this impulse is coming from but am exploring the question.
Thanks heaps! Sarah
p.s. I am on a timeframe with novitiate 4ish months away... no pressure, but if you happen to get a chance I'd love an answer soonish! With gratitude and prayers for you & the community, Sarah