The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 25, 2014

If prayer helped in football, the Browns might not stink

By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor

- — During the span between the conference finals and Super Bowl, we are inundated with every trivial item that TV broadcasters can come up with as they try to find something new to talk about.

Hey, let’s get this season over with.

However, I did find it interesting to read the Religion page in Friday’s Herald and the story about how some people pray for their favorite teams to win. According to the story, 33 percent of fans admit praying for their team, while only 21 percent pray in other sports.

The 33 percent are probably the men who bet on the game and pray for a win so their wives don’t see how much money is missing from their checking accounts.

I realize that people do a lot of strange superstitious things that they think can influence their teams. As the TV commercial says: “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work!”

And most of us even yell at our TV sets, even though we know the teams can’t hear us.

If you want to pray for something, pray that football players everywhere don’t suffer brain damage from concussions. I had to laugh when I read that President Obama said that if he had a son, he wouldn’t let him play pro football because of the dangers.

Yeah, right. You are going to tell your son who is 22 or 23 what he can do with his life.

Praying for your favorite team to win is pretty extreme. After all, if prayer really worked in football, the Browns wouldn’t be so pathetic year after year.

• Speaking of religion, few people are more revered than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. And he’s the only reverend with a national holiday. Even John F. Kennedy Jr., a beloved president who was assassinated in office, doesn’t have a national holiday in his name.

There was a wonderful story on the front page of The Herald Tuesday about activities on Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

The story concerned volunteers who go by the motto: “Make It A Day On, Not a Day Off.” The volunteers worked various charitable projects, which is a great tribute to Dr. King, a man who untiringly worked to help others.

I have always felt that that kind of motto should also carry over to our school districts. Rather than take a day off, schools should be in session, but all lessons should concern the Civil Rights movements in this country.

Kids today have very little understanding of what trials and tribulations African-Americans went through, from slavery to freedom and to supposed equal rights.

While there is still a lot of bigotry that exists, equal rights are slowly evolving. Electing a black president makes that pretty clear.

While we have a long way to go yet, the work of Dr. King in his short life, helped bring much of the bigotry to light and made people think about doing what’s right in this world.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column on Saturdays. Page. He can be reached at