I guess this entry will be two topics wrapped into one joyous bundle.
First things first. UCLA defeats USC at the Rose Bowl, 38-28, for a glorious victory on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. This is our first victory over the Trogans since 13-9 in 2006, and ends a string of USC football dominance over us for quite some time (cough 50-0 last year). Some may call 13-9 a fluke, but I’m pretty sure no one could say the same about this game. After jumping out to a 24-0 lead, the Bruins never trailed, even as USC tried to rally back. The game got as close as 31-28 before Jonathan Franklin put the dagger in with a 29 yard TD run, sealing. With the win, UCLA moves to 9-2 (6-2 in conference) becomes the outright PAC-12 South Champ, and has secured a spot in the PAC-12 Championship game (which everyone pegs to be up at Autzen this year, but at the time of this writing, could still theoretically be played in Pasadena this year). U$C falls to 7-4 (5-4 conference). “Barkley walks into a Barr” (#Barrsohard), and it looks like the Trogans will end the season w/ unfinished business. It was pretty glorious to see my twitter and facebook feeds blow up w/ UCLA/ Bruin statuses and whatnot.
#77 fist pumps, thinking Hedari’s FG is good, and then reacts after it misses.
Not that I’ve gotten that out of they way, the other issue that I really can’t get my mind off of, is how so many athletes (football players, I guess are who I’m keying in on) are so religious, or at least manage to keep a large part of their lives devoted to religion while still engaging in the time consuming life of being a football player. One person that definitely comes to mind is current UCLA star running back Jonathan Franklin. In the rout of Arizona earlier this year (66-10 baby!) his first rushing TD of the game helper propel him atop the UCLA career rushing yard list, and after today’s game, he’s now had over 4000 yards rushing in his time at UCLA. With that said, with all the accolades and attention that’s been brought upon him as he’s been having a career year, you still see the guy, in nearly interview, start off by thanking God, bringing glory to God, and whatnot, and then thanking his linemen/teammates/coach/whatever. Insanely humble guy, all the while managing to keep his faith afloat of the hullabaloo.
This was especially noticeable to me, as it comes at a time in my life where I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with me and religion and the whole church-y scene. I mean, it’s something I’ve grown up with nearly my entire life, and was pretty much the only way I knew how to spend my Friday nights/Sunday mornings. All the teachings and rituals and words continually spewed out of me, as I was immersed in this culture, and dove headfirst into it. But in the past few years, there’ve been some eye opening exchanges and other events within the church culture that’ve really lead me to question all that I’ve seen and done and become a part of. So, thus far, I’ve just really been on the skirts of everything, and it hasn’t been too big of an urgent matter in my life for me to try and figure things out.
Personal notes aside, the world that we live in, at least, within America, still provides an intriguing landscape before me. The Bible is one of the most books in the the world, and even those who aren’t religious but try and approach the Bible academically are aware of its presence and clout. There’re various allegories and allusions to Biblical stories, that should you be ignorant of these events, really leave you out cold in terms of understanding. Numbers-wise, even though they may be declining, there’s still a large amount of people who claim to be Christian or hold Christian beliefs/morals. Conversely, as popular as the Bible is, as many Christians there are in the world, I’d wager to say not too many people have read the Bible in its entirety, nor do they necessarily know all that there is to know about their religion/faith. And I guess that bothers me, on a personal level, when I engaged in said culture, because as my eyes slowly started opening up, I couldn’t help but keep asking, how do you know?
There’s really no proper way for me to conclude this rambling thought. As much as Christianity has been present throughout time, there’s always been experts and religious folks who continue to delve deep into this and s’posedly come out with new insights and understandings for plebeians to accept at face value. Or if the common man attempts to study it himself, he’s required to use outside sources, or claim comprehension based on an ‘inner feeling’ he felt whilst poring over the same passage over and over. I don’t deny the power of words and literature, seeing how much time I’ve devoted over the years dedicated to reading and blogging and the like. Words have great power, and sometimes it irks me how religion can appropriate usage of words to create and convoluted message and pare it down to the most simplest of concepts and dogmas for the masses to follow (I’m looking at you Catholics).
At the end of the day. I love my sports (read: football). I live in a world where our athletes sometimes have an upbringing where religion plays a big part of their live, and I don’t begrudge them that, nor do I hold offense to their constant shoutouts when given the opportunity (cough, Tebow). All I know is that I don’t know where I am, but that religion seems to continually permeate everywhere. There’s no escaping it, and I’m sorta just drifting/staying afloat of the madness around me.