Back in my Denver dedace, I turned into a solid Denver Broncos fan.
That’s normal, of course, in Colorado. Following the Broncos was like, well, a RELIGION or something.
That’s precisely what I argued in a memo to the editor in 1988, when I argued that I should be part of the Rocky Mountain News team that was sent to cover the Broncos at the Super Bowl. I made a kind of sociological argument that, if Bronco fans were not practicing a religion of some kind, then the Denver area didn’t have a religion.
I didn’t win that argument. Then, during the media-fest preceding the game, this happened (as covered by the New York Times):
Most of the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins will join Saturday in a prayer meeting that is believed to be the first to bring together National Football League players from opposing teams on the eve of any game - much less a Super Bowl.
The meeting has created a sensitive situation. Front-office executives of both clubs are reportedly against the joint meeting, which they feel could diminish the competitive fervor the teams should take into such an important game.
John Beake, the Broncos' normally expansive general manager, was abrupt when asked about it this morning. 'Can't Say Anything'
''I can't say anything about it,'' he said, and told the caller to speak to the club's news media relations director, Jim Saccomano.
Yes, the editor asked me (still back in Denver) to dive in an help with coverage of this controversy.
In a way, this subject — broadly defined — is what host Todd Wilken and I talked about during this week’s Crossroads podcast. (Click here to tune that in.) What is a “religion”? Who gets to decide what is a ”real” religion and what is a “fake” religion?
The news hook for this discussion was Gannett Tennessee Network coverage of a new state law that would ban wedding ceremonies being conducted by people who have been ordained through online sites that hand out ordination certificates after a few clicks of a mouse. Here’s the GetReligion post on that.
Needless to say, the lawyers linked to the Universal Life Church Monastery website are not to crazy about that and they are saying that this law violates their First Amendment-protected freedom to practice their religious convictions.