Sports | HOLY FACTS – Deepak Chopra

Sports | HOLY FACTS – Deepak Chopra

Hey everyone! I’m Gotham Chopra and this is
Holy Facts, the show where we take you on a tour of the weirder side of religion and
spirituality, from the sacred teachings of George Lucas to the reincarnation of a World
War II pilot. Put on your cleats, grab your helmet, and don’t forget the juice boxes
and orange slices because today we’re taking a look at the purest, most universal religion
of them all: sports. Take a knee. Humans have always been fascinated with competition,
whether it’s Greek Gods warring for supremacy in the Battle of the Titans, or David going
toe-to-toe with Goliath, we’ve always loved a good winner-take-all fight. But modern professional
and college sports have become a religion all their own. Think about it: millions of
people are willing to wake up early on weekend mornings, don ceremonial dress, in the hopes
that they’ll be witness to a miracle. Even the word “fan” derives from the Latin
word “fanaticus,” which means “divinely inspired.” And both worship holy relics. Jews have the
Torah, while sports fans have James Naismith’s hand-written founding rules of basketball.
The pages sold at an auction for more than $4 million and will have their own dedicated
building at the University of Kansas. The sports fan’s equivalent of the Shroud of
Turin is Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, which the Red Sox player wore over his injured ankle
during Game 6 of the 2004 American League Playoffs against the Yankees. The game proved
to be a decisive moment in Red Sox history and the sock, in turn, took on mythic importance.
A second bloody sock, worn during the World Series, was later placed in the Baseball hall
of fame, where the Red Sox nation can worship it in person[ZS1]. Like the Hall of Fame, many sports sites have
taken on near-religious significance for the fanatics among us. Us Red Sox faithful bow
down to the Green Monster at Fenway Park, Cubs Fans worship the ivy of Wrigley Field,
and Cheeseheads make pilgrimages to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. And athletes have rituals they practice before
games. Think LeBron’s chalk-toss or Justin Verlander’s sacred Taco Bell feast before
game days. And although these seem like goofy superstitions, what separates a silly habit
from a sacred ritual besides the degree to which someone believes in its power to affect
his life? Many athletes and fans have more directly
incorporated religious or tribal rituals into their sports. The New Zealand national rugby
team, for instance has been performing a version of the Haka – the Maori warrior dance – before
their matches since 1905[ZS2]. More recently, American sports teams, including
the University of Arizona football team incorporated the Haka into their own pre-game ritual. The
Brigham Young University rugby team even created their own Haka based on teachings from the
Book of Mormon. Quarterback Tim Tebow’s signature on-field
prayer stance became an Internet phenomenon in the fall of 2011. Known as Tebowing, the
pose brings together three things we love: sports, spirituality and silly Internet fads. Although Tebow’s prayerful nature has been
widely mocked, he’s not totally crazy to ask for a miracle, since sports history is
rife with buzzer-beating, seemingly supernatural plays. Underdog Rulon Gardner beating the
unbeaten Alexander Karelin in Greco-Roman at the 2000 Olympics, the US Olympic hockey
team triumphing over the Russians at the 1980 Winter Olympics, or the Immaculate Reception
during the Steelers-Raiders AFC playoff game in 1972. Although these may seem like insignificant
moments in the grand scheme of things, they are the closest many people will get to feeling
the presence of a higher power, or like God is really answering their prayers. There’s just something about sports, isn’t
there, that provides a sense of connection and belonging to something bigger than ourselves
and transports us to the highest highs and the lowest lows? Is sports your religion?
Let us know in the comments section below or by uploading a response video. [ZS1]In addition to the relics do we want
a section commenting on spiritual places for the sports fans like Wrigley Field, or other
sacred places of worship? [ZS2]There are a lot of examples of athletes
rituals including Lebron James chalk ritual before games and a football player who eat
a bucket of Fried Chicken (can’t remember who this is.) There are a couple of articles
about this on Google and videos on YouTube as well.

16 thoughts on “Sports | HOLY FACTS – Deepak Chopra

  1. I am not a sports person. I recall watching MTV instead of watching my country's football team play when I was a teenager.

  2. What's the most universal religion of all? Sports, of course! Gotham delves into the world of extreme sports fanaticism this week on Holy Facts!

  3. I am not much of a sports person..but oddly enough I love boxing..I am of Irish Gypsy descent ..I guess sneaking to watch the bare knuckle fights as a kid imprinted on me ( girls were forbidden to watch in Traveler culture )it is violent and aggressive which I do not condone but I do like to put boxing gloves on and unleash on the punching bag..its a great work out !

  4. Netflix has a great documentry called "Knuckle" you may enjoy, I have seen it a few times. Check it out if you get a chance. Hockey is a favorite in my family, just picked up 9 tickets today for the last game of the season in our AHL league.

  5. My brother =) great show… good concept… One question… Must you keep your hands in your pockets?… it makes you look uncomfortable and holds back your personality… I think… also… It feels like your reading the teleprompter =p its alright to read it, but it makes me less engaged =P

  6. I will check it out ..Thanks ..I was going to say that I like hockey for the same reason I love boxing ..any one who is in to hockey knows why …LOL they should combine the sport of hockey and boxing they might as well LOL!Have a good evening ..thanks for the suggestion. I will be sure to watch it

  7. Love this take on sports, I'm always intrigued how the end result of a team winning or losing has all this unseen emotional, psychological weight riding on the outcome. Is it redemption? Damnation? Or an affirmation of justice existing in their world?

  8. You're right! People often read fate or other unseen forces into a game's outcome. It's like Robert De Niro's character in "Silver Linings Playbook."

  9. love it, love psychology and this was great….i have no assigned religion because i like being able to just choose my own values based on my concept of truth which sums up basically to the truth harms no one and benefits all, at once, i try to live by that rule. but still i love reflecting on religious material because alot of it contains massive truth some of which spoken in metaphors that you must decipher (religions also have massive lies but i focus on the good stuff)..the sports worship..

  10. the sports worship is idol worship, idol worship is "bad" because the love and focus goes into something that does not help yourself or the world..its kind of wasted energy and if you love something enough and it is like a god to you for example money which we have been trained to believe is the only means to survive we could end up if desperate enough for it..doing very immoral things to get our hands on it, this would be selling out or selling your soul

  11. Just got home from a great hockey game 6th row center ice ! If you would like to borrow my netflix password to watch "Knuckle" i'd be happy to share it with you… Send a private message if you would like to … Peace , love and happiness,,,,

  12. I watched it !Great documentary felt like home !LOL
    You are so kind to offer great to hear from you ..I hope we cross paths again here on youtube as we seem to be kindred spirits

  13. Don't forget the power of song in this "Religion of the Sport." Queen's "We Will Rock You" comes to mind, for example.


  14. jesus, Dude…when you speak of sport in general and leave out the biggest game of all, you're asking for "comments" to put it nicely.
    How can you not mention football ..uhmmm…soccer, in your lingo.
    cheers, from New Zealand (nice mention of the Maories & Haka though)

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