Littlefield: Imagining God's Response To South Carolina's Victory

Dawn Staley holds the NCAA trophy after South Carolina's victory over Mississippi State. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Dawn Staley holds the NCAA trophy after South Carolina's victory over Mississippi State. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Late Sunday night, God expressed surprise at having been given credit for South Carolina’s victory in the championship game of the women’s NCAA tournament.

“No way was I supporting one team or the other,” God said, apparently responding to South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. Staley had said after the game that “this does not happen…without God blessing our program all year long.”

“Uh, uh,” God replied. “Sure, it might have been tempting to stick it to Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer for losing confidence in that little point guard and taking her out of the game. But, hey, understand, that would only have been the case if I weren’t God. Think about it. There’s nothing going to tempt me. What could do that?

“My blessings are pretty much like my mercy. They’re both available to everybody, and there’s always been plenty to go around. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume only good people are eligible. On that score, it’s about the same as it ever was. South Carolina has some fine folks, and some others who’ve done stuff you wouldn’t want to know about.

“Well, maybe you’d want to know about it. I’d have to check your file.

“Anyway, Mississippi State has lots of players and fans who’ve filled their lives with good works, helped their fellow creatures whenever they could and all that. As a group, they didn’t deserve disappointment any more than the folks on the other side.

“Here’s the thing,” God went on to say. “The team that wins is generally the one with more talent. Toss in a solid work ethic, the inclination to play as a team rather than a collection of individuals, and a little luck, and you’ve got a champion. I say luck because, hey, the ball bounces, right? One time it’ll kick straight up off the rim and drop down through the hoop, almost as though I’ve had a hand on it. But I don’t do that stuff. Sure, I helped out with the idea of a round ball some time back. Long time back, the way you calculate time. But how that ball bounces in a particular game? Nah. That’s not my doing. Not any more than a missed foul call or a sprained ankle is me sticking my nose into it. Somebody rolls an ankle? Blame lack of conditioning, blame the trainer who taped her, blame Nike for selling a bad shoe, but don’t blame me.

“Not saying I can’t handle it, now. You wouldn’t hurt my feelings. Just it’s misguided is all.

“And another thing,” said God. “Don’t be blaming the devil for that stuff. Basketball’s just a game to Lucifer, just as it is to me. We’re both happy enough to leave it to the players, the coaches and the fans.

“Devil’s got bigger fish to fry, just the same as I do.”

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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