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. bill

    there is no god so its okay

    November 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  2. B-lo Bomber

    God does not hate the Buffalo Bills. He hates my brother who is a Bills fan.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  3. Charles

    Besides the overall bizarre nature of Johnson's note, it's also kind of amusing that he's twittering God (or would have us believe so). I would have sent Him an email (marked "urgent") but I'm hopelessly old fashioned.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  4. finallyman

    I've been waiting for years for a sports player to send his anger towards the sky, this was almost perfect, if players can point to the sky and give all credit to a god for all good things, forgetting about all the players and coaches who help at that moment, then they should also flip the bird to the sky and give a little FU there too, give them more credit.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  5. rik

    Here's a clue Stevie, God has more important things going on other than making sure you catch a few balls. Problem with NFL is the players are spoiled and paid too much and believe it is all about them. They suck.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  6. Suz

    It is a GAME. Jeez.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  7. OneWhoLovesGod

    Jordan said "If god really did exist(though there is no reason to believe he does at all) " Jordan you are mistaken there are very good reasons to believe God exists – starting with the amazing accuracy of the Bible (Which is exactl;y what you would expect if God is who the Bible says he is) the entire study is waaay to long to fit into the area available for this comment. for those folks who say that God does not care about a football game he cares greatly about ANYTHING you care about becuase he cares for you more than you will ever know!!!!! Rather than pray for God to affect the outcome of a game we should pray for God to protect the players and that (we are all examples – what kind is all that is left to be decided) we would be good examples of fairplay and good sportmanship. As usual men blame God for their own actions, but lets be honest (Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson ) dropped the ball not God – God BLESSED him with tremndous abilitty and opportunities and Mr Johnson dropped the ball of his own free will – lets not blame God for the bad that MEN do

    November 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bubba

      "Amazing accuracy?" It says the world is flat. Don't force us to laugh at you.

      November 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • flux

      So according to your own "free will" idea that you espouse here, every time he makes a play that is successful, he should take the credit all for himself, right? Just being clear.

      November 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  8. Frank

    Too many bigots here afraid of Muslims. There are how many billion muslims in the world? All of them are violent terrorists? Really? That's the conclusion you are going to draw? If it wasn't for these Muslims working with the United States in Afghanistan there would be more casualties. They are a key part of winning this war, so keep on denouncing all of them, that's a good way to garner support.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
    • jeff

      So you're saying a muslim terrorist caused him to drop the ball?

      November 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
    • Bubba

      So Muslim terrorists have made us ALL drop the ball?

      November 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Maybe I missed something... I don't recall seeing many, if any– 'anti-Muslim' bigotry here on 'this' particular article.

      Is it possible that you meant to post your comment on the "Oregon mosque attended by bomb plot suspect target of apparent arson," 'article'...?

      Just curious...


      November 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  9. jokester2485

    this guy needs to blame his bad hands. God had nothing to do with it. He missed it right in his hands. PRACTICE MORE

    November 29, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  10. grist

    Finally! I am tired of people thanking their god when something goes right but neglectiing blaming their god when things go wrong!

    November 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Bubba

      Thank God you said that. Wait, er . . .

      November 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Poolchick

    What a moron. Blaming god isn't going to help or change things. He is responsible for dropping the ball and only him. I can understand being angry, but be angry at yourself. He is a role model for kids and to tweet something so stupid is..............well stupid. Learn from your mistakes and take responsilbility, not blame someone else. That is the message he should be sending out.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Colin

    Praying to god for victory over an opponent is ridiculous, especially when your opponent is praying to the same deity. Prayer is a selfish act to a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient being. Face it: if god is real, he's already made up his mind and your prayer isn't going to change anything.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  13. Sarah

    At least he is consistent. If he gives God credit for the catches, He should get the blame for the drops. This is not my theology. But it seems like you either think God is involved in these activities or you don't. Many people who believe this way only give God credit for their safe travel (for example). What about the people that got in an accident?

    November 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  14. ProperVillain

    I really do think God has a lot more to worry about than whether or not someone wins a game, catches a ball, or scores a touchdown. In the grand scheme of things football (or any other game for that matter) is insignificant. Anyone getting angry at God for not catching a ball needs to check their overly inflated ego at the door and take a good hard look at what really matters in life.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tony

      Do you really think god worries or cares about anything?

      November 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Peace2All

    Well, from reading the article and his comments, Stevie Johnson seems to be an equal-opportunity non-responsibility taker.

    He seems to give credit to God when he is successfull, and credit to God when he is not. Which, I guess, at least seems reasonable given his 'model' of the world. I can see that someone having such an extreme world-view about God running aspects of your life could cause one to really feel like your own life was not under your control, but being controlled by the unknown decisions and the reasons behind said decisions by...God.

    In terms of the 'Free will v. Determinism' argument, I'm gathering that he is in the 'Determinism' corner. I am guessing from a lot of the comments here on this blog and others that turning one's life fully over to God comes with a lot of, ultimately in the long-run supposed benefits- not going to hell, but going to an eternal heaven, as a believer in God's word and Jesus as one's savior.

    On the potential downside in the 'here and now' of that 'world-view' or 'model of reality,' this can and would potentially create in a lot of followers and believers of this 'God-in-the-mix' model, a lot of tremendous uncertainty, and possible railing against God, for not doing things the way you want them done... or having the outcomes that you desire. Basically, feeling like you kinda' have no control over your life, as it is God that can, does and will intercede at any moment and change the results of your life that may not be what you desired.

    While a lot of research nowadays shows that for most people one of the aspects of 'happiness' is having some sense of a 'spiritual' belief or aspect, and one of the major factors researchers have found to be attributed to 'happiness' in one's life is a sense of control– of feeling like you have the ability to influence your lives to a measurable extent. Apparently 'both' seem to be important. Not to say that there aren't lots of people that are atheists, or agnostics, who have varying levels of belief to non-belief, but... feeling a sense of control and influence in one's life and not at the whims of the gods, is definitely a strong indicator for happiness and fulfillment.

    Even if he has this model and it gives him tremendous pain and uncertainty from time-to-time, I am hoping that he will learn(as he asks God what is he supposed to learn from this..?) to possibly take a bit more responsibility for his thoughts, beliefs, and actions, thereby creating in himself...by himself a sense of self-empowerment–'without' having to give up his 'model' of God stepping in and being a 'determining' factor on events, etc... that happen in his life.


    November 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  16. Iain

    Do any of you really think a god gives a hoot about a football game?

    November 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  17. Stevo

    Blame no one

    November 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  18. Stevo

    I am responsible for my day.

    November 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  19. Vallory

    He should just take responsibility for his loss. Im sure when people compliment how hard he works and how talented he is he accepts the credit willingly. why is he so special that God must have forsaken him in his failure when the world is suffering? I wounder where he ranks this as far as tragedies go...

    November 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  20. Tony

    Well god didn't help him catch any balls, why blame him for dropping one? Does god favor the team that prays the most, or the one that he bet on?

    November 29, 2010 at 1:15 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.