‘Being a lifelong Vanderbilt fan helps you to accept the cross.’”
A passionate Christian and a rabid football fan, Auburn graduate Chad Gibbs set out, in his humorous new book, “God & Football,” to find the balance between his religious faith and his devotion to the emotional whirlwind of college football in the South.
“As a Christian I have to ask,” he wrote, “Why do I worship something that I know will let me down when I could be worshiping a God that I know never will?” To answer that question he immersed himself in the fan culture at SEC games in 2009. “Surely,” he figured, “somewhere out there a Christian has figured out how to keep his or her fanaticism from hindering faith…”
Subtitled, “Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC,” Gibbs’ book — his first — is a soul-searching, gently humorous look at how his love of football has sometimes rivaled his devotion to Christianity.
As he puts it plainly: “Welcome to the American South, where God and football scrimmage daily for people’s hearts and minds.”
…As he writes about his conversion: “I think everyone back home would have forgiven my apostasy had I kept my orange-and-blue light under a bushel, but instead I became the worst kind of Auburn fan: an evangelical one.”
He began to plunge his hopes into the outcome of Auburn football.
“When Auburn’s winning,” he said, “I feel better about myself. When Auburn loses, I feel like everything in my life is slumping down.”