God help you if God’s against you
The article in the Jamaica Observer a few days ago read 'God's on our side'. To suggest that God was somehow on the Jamaica College football team's side was, in itself, a fascinating concept.
Speaking to his students following JC's Manning Cup victory, principal Ruel Reid was quoted as saying, "We owe it all to the almighty God. We have got accustomed to winning. Whether it's dropping 16-0 or not, with God, all things are possible. ... Some people cannot understand what God's plans are. When God says it is yours, it's yours." We are told that he was met by loud applause when he made these remarks.
The likable Mr Reid is doing nothing new. Thanking God for victory in sports is age-old. Many sportsmen have thanked God for their performances and many will in the future. Sportsmen, some of whom aren't that big on religion in their daily lives, are known to make the sign of the cross when they go on to the park.
I'm not too big on religion, and I don't claim to know God any better than anybody else, but I have to wonder whether God would really take sides in a sports contest. If he actually did that, would he be the just and fair God that Christians claim he is?
To suggest that 'God says it's yours' in a sports competition is to suggest that God said it wasn't for the other schools. In other words, if Mr Reid is to be taken literally, God wanted JC to win!
I'm now really sorry for the other schools. Jamaica College just happens to have the best squad in schoolboy football. Those who are a bit unkind to JC will say its their best 'assembled' squad around. It doesn't matter to me. Their LIME Super Cup and Manning Cup victories didn't surprise anyone.
There is no doubt that Jamaica College is THE team in schoolboy football this year. No other team can match them, man for man, on the field. Beating them is difficult, but when God is on their side, then, well, the job is now well nigh impossible.
I'm sorry then for Charlie Smith in the Manning Cup final. Most of us who watch schoolboy football didn't give Jerome Waite and his team any chance. We were looking at it merely from a football point of view. They pushed JC far more than I thought they would. Jerome, though, was destined to lose. The trophy was ordained to go to Old Hope Road, if Mr Reid is to be taken literally.
Poor Jerome thought he was playing against 11 boys. He didn't realise that somewhere in the great beyond, the great supreme was calling the shots. When Junior Flemmings picked up on a defensive error and headed past a static Charlie Smith keeper, most of us said the goalie erred. Now we know that maybe the poor keeper was probably operating under some unconscious divine plan! Now that we know this, nobody should blame him.
ISSA, then, needs to stop the foolishness about any investigation into JC's strange 16-0 win over Denham Town. Nothing untoward happened there at all. All that happened is that God wanted JC to win the Manning Cup this year, and if it means scoring six goals in rapid time to make it into the semi-finals, that's all part of the plan.
God is known to work miracles. In comparison to turning water into wine and raising the dead, six goals in six minutes, or whatever time it was, is child's play!
George Forbes and his friends at ISSA must be careful that they are not interfering with the work of the Lord. The Bible is full of stories about what happens to people who try to come between God and any master plan that he may have. So, George, back off! God was on Jamaica College's side to win the Manning Cup.
Their principal is telling us plainly that the Lord had said, "Let there be victory for JC," and we know that while heaven and earth may pass away, not one jot or tittle of the Lord's words may pass. I just have one little reservation. I wish Mr Reid had said this BEFORE, and not AFTER, the Manning Cup!
Just in! With JC losing a cracking Walker Cup final mudfest to St George's 3-2 yesterday afternoon, could it be that the Almighty was devilishly outfoxed by the opposition? Blasphemy! Impossible!
A better theory: It was noticeable, however, that St George's coach Neville 'Bertis' Bell lifted his hands to heaven and made the sign of the cross at the end of the match. It seems God switched sides from the Dark Blues to the lighter hue but didn't send Ruel Reid the memo. May God help you if He's against you!
n Orville Higgins is a sports journalist and talk-show host on KLAS ESPN FM. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.