Wide out blames God for dropped ball
November 29th, 2010
11:22 AM ET

Wide out blames God for dropped ball

By CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a game-winning touchdown in the end zone Sunday in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Anyone who has ever tossed the pigskin around in the back yard dreams of that scenario - minus the drop, of course.

Johnson did not even have to work for the ball. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass was text-book perfect, landing squarely in Johnson's hands.

After the game, Johnson's twitter account filed this faithy tweet:



Johnson was emotional in the post game press conference.

"It was a great call; it was something we knew we could beat them on....It came to the back of the end zone. I had the game in my hands and then dropped it. That's it."

He said the play was something he would never get over.

"How would you feel? You've got this game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and you got this kid coming up in the NFL making plays..All of a sudden, when the biggest play needs to be made, you don't make it. You feel bad. I'm devastated right now."

Just last week Johnson was fined $5,000 by the NFL by for wearing a t-shirt under his jersey that said, "Why so serious?" After scoring a touchdown, he lifted his shirt to reveal the Batman-inspired quote from the Joker.

Interestingly enough, he praised God for helping him make that catch.

At a press conference last Wednesday, Johnson said, "It happened. And if it wasn't going to happen, I wouldn't have caught the ball." Then he was asked by reporters if he regretted his actions. "I don't really regret anything. I'm playing under God. So if it happens, it happens," he said.

This brings us to a larger theological question: Does God hate the Buffalo Bills? You may remember this is the very team that lost four straight Super Bowls.

What do you think?

Check out a piece we did on this earlier: When did God become a sports fan?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: New York • Sports • United States

soundoff (616 Responses)
  1. TampaMel

    If he, in fact, blamed God for the miss it is both great (from a theological sense) and tragic (in a personal sense). We all say, "Thank God", when something happens that is wonderful but if God was instrumental in that wonderful thing why is God not instrumental when things go wrong? We blame the doctor when things go wrong during an operation but praise God when it turns out right. Why is that? If the doctor is a fault in a bad outcome then that doctor should be praised when the operation is a success and, on the other side, if God is praised for a successful operation then, why is God not faulted for a bad outcome? From a personal responsibility point of view, Johnson like all of us, need to stop blaming externals for the bad things that happen in life. Normally the problems in life are just part of life and you need to suck it up and move on or the person to blame is looking at you in the mirror.

    November 30, 2010 at 3:43 am |
    • K L

      It's very easy and popular to praise God and give him the glory when things are going good, but what you need to do is double that praise when things go wrong. The Bible is full of examples of folks who've face adversity, but always kept their eye on who would carry them through. A measure of a man is not what he does ...when he's on top, but what he does when he gets knocked down. If you are looking for a theological tie in, there it is. Those who don't know the bible have this believe that God is suppose to make everything perfect for us, but that is never the case. Read the book of Job, David etc. These guys faced great obsticles in their lives, and were angry at one point, but eventually realized that they did come through the other side of their struggles and that it was the journey and not the situation, in which God was trying to tell them something. Sometimes we get caught up in the persent bad news situation without realizing that God is sending us on this to strenghten our personal faith and for us to be a witness for others. As the saying goes, "take up your mat". A man was bling and crippled for year, Jesus came by and healed him. Even though the man was no longer crippled, he took up his begging mat and went forward to tell the good news and kept the mat as proof of his journey.

      November 30, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  2. TheRationale

    How disgustingly arrogant and selfish of anyone, let alone a millionaire football player, to think that a god who lets hundreds of millions die and suffer from disease and famine would care in the least what happened during a silly game.

    Could you imagine a more detestable, self-centered proposition? The egocentricity of those who think that they have some pie-in-the-sky God on their side is just astounding.

    November 29, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Buddha

      What a well written response. I'd give you a bunch of 'likes' if I could.

      November 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  3. BlueEyedVideot

    I think Stevie is finally getting it...

    Religion is for suckers. There are no gods.

    November 29, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  4. gordon

    So much phoniness and smugness in these comments. There's no need to force your beliefs on the guy. Just let the dude think what he wants. I actually like that he tweeted that, you never see that angle from football players.

    November 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  5. Iron City

    He just needs to accept the obvious fact that God is a Steelers fan...

    November 29, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  6. iron-e

    I live for stories like these 😀

    November 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  7. Not God

    Don't blame me.

    November 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  8. Jesse Ruiz

    Last week he boastfully wears a shirt that states, 'Why so serious?", during a game in which he had a outstanding performance. A week later he drops the game winning ball, and GOD says, "Stevie, Why So Serious? For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return. Pick your chin up son."

    November 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  9. Donald in CA

    I can understand how Stevie feels. I've been praying for help with my hangovers for years.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  10. Tyler V

    God giveth and God taketh away.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm |
  11. Las Vegas Bookie


    Should we roll up our pant legs and watch out for a flood ?

    November 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  12. Las Vegas Bookie

    God loves me. Sorry Stevie.

    November 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  13. J NASTY

    U just poo dont say nun bout it u poo

    November 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  14. David

    God sacrificed his only son in order to save us from our sins.

    Who required this act?
    If you answered "God" then that is equivalent to "Little Billy, you just lied to me and so I won't give you the cookie you want. But as soon as I hit myself over the head with a hammer, I will be satisfied with the retribution and you can have your cookie."
    If you answered anything other than "God" the implication is that there is a Bigger God for whom our God has to answer to and thus take the blame (and suffer the consequences) for our sins.
    I do realize that my tone is moderately sarcastic. On a serious note, however, I truly do see a logical contradiction here for which I would greatly appreciate an answer.

    November 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • OneWhoLovesGod

      Yes it was a rule set down by God that if we sin then we will die, but it was us that choose to sin and subject us to that sentance, God would have prefered that we never sin and thus never need to die. Your analogy is a little flawed its more like we were told not to climb up on the roof because it was dangerous, but we did and fell off and got a mortal wound, now here is a question could God have simply healed us and gone about his business without dying on the cross? yes of course he could but God is a God of justice and every sin must be paid for and thus he chose to subject himsel to death on a cross (the most inhumane brutal way to die ever designed by man) and thus he took our deathly injury onto his body and healed us

      November 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • Scott of the non-believer tribe

      God created sin not man...only God is powerful enough to come up with that one. Of course he can heal us because he can do anything. God is a Just God...except when it comes to mortal suffering....thats ok..because it is a test. Jesus died on a cross, however, lets not call it the most inhuman brutal way to die ever designed by man...weve done much worse...it may have been at the time of his death...but give modern day psychotics a little credit. Please pray for me now because I no doubt need it. Wait...nevermind...ill ask for forgiveness when i get around to it...then I get in.

      November 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
    • David

      "every sin must be paid for"

      Onewholovesgod, again I ask, who requires that every sin be paid for? If it is God, then I ask the question: if the sin isn't paid for (God is spared the suffering) but we go to heaven anyway, who loses out?

      November 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  15. Elliot Werner

    More likely it has to do with his wearing number 13.

    November 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  16. Rob

    Since so many players praise God when they make a great catch – I suppose its only fair to blame God when you a miss such an obvious catch... After all fair is fair and God has got to take the good with the bad...

    November 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  17. Anon

    Wow, John. You just might be a saint with an outlook like that...

    November 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  18. Anon

    I agree with the golden rule, but use the version that is a lot older and more effective than the version Jesus supposedly stated; one that Confucious stated: Do NOT unto others, as you would have NOT done unto you.

    People tend to self-associate better with negatives than positives, hence making the statement much more effective.

    November 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  19. God

    BTW...it also angers me very much when you people call me Jealous...You refer to me this way in the Bible. Just because I want you to worship only me and will smite anyone who defies me does not mean Im jealous. How can you possibly refer to me with such a human emotion as jealousy as if Im one of you intellectually and emotionally immature humans. I am not! Not Not Not!!!

    November 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  20. JohnQuest

    OneWhoLovesGod, do you seriously consider an ultimatum a free gift? Either believe in me and follow my orders or spend eternity in a fiery pit, some choice. Fortunately, I don't believe it, I do good for the simple face that is it good not because I am am afraid, why do you do good?

    November 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • OneWhoLovesGod

      The ulitmatium (as you call it) is not "turn or burn" but rather we are all sinners (with or without God) and therefore sentanced to death by the fact we are sinners. God comes along and says hey, I know you are a sinner but I love you, if you will allow me to I will forgive your sins and bring you into heaven. Problem is many of us WILL NOT allow God to save us we reject his free gift of salvation and therefore remain sentanced to death in the lake of fire.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
    • OneWhoLovesGod

      one more thing, it is great you try to be a good person, but NO AMOUNT of being good and doing good is enough to get you into heaven without accepting Gods free gift.

      November 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • Maybe

      "Free Gift", as opposed to what?... a gift that you pay for?

      Sorry, this is an inane redundancy that bugs me...

      November 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • OneWhoLovesGod

      In this case "free gift" means you don't have to standout on a street corner and witness to people for a certain amount of hours to earn it or give a large donation to a particular church to buy it, fact is there is nothing you can do or say that will get you salvation EXCEPT I accept jesus into my heart and your free gift of salvation. Thats what I mean by free its available to the poor and the rich alike to the dumb and the smart alike it is available to all just for the asking – Now thats what I call a free gift 🙂

      November 29, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • Scott of the non-believer tribe

      "Free Gift"...yea right...fell for that one at a time share meeting..."free gift' is a marketing ploy with strings attached. Newsflash...its not free...you have to accept him as the only god and his son is jesus christ and his profit is muhammed and his chef is buddha and his masseusse is that indian god with all the arms..Vishnu I think. Point is...maybe everyone cant be right and if everyone cant be right then they are all wrong...dont even get me started on Mission's to convert.

      November 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • Observer

      Nothing changes the idea that it doesn't matter if you are the nicest, kindest, most generous, thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent, and helpful person in the world. The Bible says it doesn't matter at all unless you believe in something/someone who either cannot or refuses to be proven to exist. However, if you were Adolph Hitler who believed in God, you at least have some shot at Heaven.

      November 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
    • David

      "The ulitmatium (as you call it) is not "turn or burn" but rather we are all sinners (with or without God) and therefore sentanced to death by the fact we are sinners."

      Onewholovesgod, I have two questions: 1) Who has sentenced us to death because we are sinners? 2) Did you mean "death" or "hell"?

      November 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
    • OneWhoLovesGod

      God determined that the punishment for disobedience was death, when we sinned he loved us so much that he made a way for us to have eternal life anyway (even though we had sinned) – all we have to do is accept the gift Death by definition is seperation eternally from God (to be cast into the lake of fire)

      November 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.