It’s Sunday, which means the National Football League is all over the place on television.
I have a request to make of GetReligion readers who plan to watch the Cincinnati Bengals play the Los Angeles Chargers this afternoon. Please be on the alert for displays of fecundopobia during the pregame show for this game, or during the contest itself.
What, you ask, is “fecundopobia”?
That term was created a number of years ago by M.Z. “GetReligionista emerita” Hemingway. Here is the overture for a post at The Federalist in which she explains what’s up, starting with the headline: “Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women.”
Last week Deadspin ran six sentences and a picture under the headline “Philip Rivers Is An Intense Weirdo.” The final two sentences about the San Diego Charger quarterback were blunt:
“And he’s also about to have his seventh kid. There are going to be eight people with Rivers DNA running around this world.”
Ah yes. How “intensely weird” it is for an NFL player to be having his seventh kid. Except that it isn’t weird at all for an NFL player to have his seventh kid. It’s only weird for an NFL player to have seven kids with his one wife.
Take former Charger and current New York Jet Antonio Cromartie. He’s fathered at least 12 children with eight different women. In fact, when the Jets picked the cornerback up from the Chargers, they provided him with a $500,000 advance so he could make outstanding child support payments. (You can watch him struggle to name some of his children here.)
Well, things have gotten even WORSE since then — which is why I want people to watch the Charger game today and take some notes.
You see, the Rivers team has been busy — some more. In fact, the family is joyfully expecting child No. 9 (and that isn’t a jersey number).
Here is the top of a short ESPN item about this announcement. Let’s play “spot the flash of strangeness” in this news copy.
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and his wife, Tiffany, are expecting their ninth child. NBC Sports first reported the news.
The couple began dating in middle school and got married after the 36-year-old signal-caller's freshman year at NC State. Rivers is a devout Catholic.
The couple has six girls -- Halle, Sarah Catherine, Caroline, Grace, Rebecca and Clare -- and two boys, Peter and Gunner.
That’s right: Philip Rivers is a “devout Catholic.”
Isn’t the crucial fact in this story that Tiffany Rivers is a devout Catholic?
Might Tiffany Rivers have something to do with the faith being practiced in this household and some of the strategic decisions that go along with that?
It isn’t hard to find information about this couple and their faith, including the work of the “Rivers of Hope” charity they ran for several years to help find homes for foster children. They continue to work on that cause, behind the scenes.
Here is a Heavy.com info feature about Tiffany Rivers and another at that same site addressing (#DUH) the couple’s support for Catholic teachings on contraception. Here is a lengthy San Diego Union-Tribune feature about Rivers and his family.
So tune in this afternoon and see if this topic is addressed.
Smirk or no smirk? Let us know.