I knew there had to be a logical explanation why I inexplicably started pulling for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots about five years ago. Growing up as a Dolphins’ fan in Florida, it would be safe to say that I loathed the Patriots, who were AFC East Division rivals of Miami. With a penchant for cheating long before the Belichick/Brady era — the December 12, 1982 Snow Plow Game against the Don Shula-coached Dolphins comes to mind — I somehow convinced myself that Tom Brady and the Patriots were worth rooting for.
Maybe it was because I had picked Tom Brady in a Fantasy Football league a few years back. Perhaps it was my sense that Brady was unfairly railroaded by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the “Deflategate” scandal involving the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015. Could it be that I considered Tom Brady, now a winner of six Super Bowl Championships, the G.O.A.T. — the Greatest of All Time? Or, could my change of allegiance have been the result of a spell cast by a witch? Preposterous, you say. Who could possibly believe that witchcraft works like that? Sadly, Tom Brady.
Now, I don’t really think that I have been hexed, but Tom Brady, unfortunately, believes that his wife, Gisele Bundchen, has some supernatural powers of witchcraft that determine whether he wins or loses football games. When my wife told me she had seen something about it on Facebook, my initial reaction was, “That’s a joke. There is no way that Tom Brady attributed his success to some dark magic practiced by his wife. Everything you read on the internet is not true.” Oh, how I wish that my wife was wrong. Well, that doesn’t sound right. I never wish that my wife is wrong. Oh, never mind. That’s a post for another day.
As Brady was getting his beard shaved last Thursday, cameras rolling for social media consumption, he was obviously so relaxed in the barber’s chair that he let the whole world in on the secret of his success:
Brady said Bundchen “always makes a little altar for me at the game because she just wills it so much,” complete with pictures of his children.
“And I have these little special stones and healing stones and protection stones and she has me wear a necklace and take these drops she makes, I say all these mantras,” Brady said. “And I stopped questioning her a long time ago. I just shut up and listen.”
“She said you’re lucky you married a witch – I’m just a good witch,” Brady said. (“Tom Brady Says Superstitious Gisele Bundchen Has Him Using ‘Protection Stones’ – And It Works”)
When people asked me how I could root for the Patriots, who many claim to be the epitome of evil in the modern sports’ world, I demure, telling them that it’s all about the greatness of the Patriots’ teams. I think I owe those people an apology, including my church when I stood in the pulpit extolling Tom Brady’s sports greatness. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no such thing as luck and there are n0 “good witches,” Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, to the contrary notwithstanding. Not only is our every step in God’s hands (Proverbs 16:9), but the Bible clearly condemns the practice of witchcraft, sorcery, and divination as a way to get ahead in life.
I write only partially tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps what’s most disturbing about this witchcraft story is not that Brady thought nothing of telling the world that his wife builds pagan altars to him at all his games. Rather, it is that everyone just laughed, as if this was the most normal thing in the world to hear coming from the mouth of someone who had just been blessed to win his sixth Super Bowl ring.
We live in an increasingly pagan culture where traditional Judeo-Christian values are not simply rejected, but are outright mocked and ridiculed. That goes doubly for the world of sports. Just ask Tim Tebow. Instead of thanking God for his success, Brady thanks his wife who is literally treating him as a god. And, we have millions of people who have made idols of Brady and other athletes and actors, worshiping at the almighty altar of sports and entertainment. Billions of dollars are spent to erect stadiums and arenas where the masses can assemble together to worship the gods of this culture. However, the One True God doesn’t take kindly to this sort of pagan idoltry, no matter how benign or well-intentioned:
“Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ iniquity, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:3-6 (CSB)
Tom Brady’s story of his wife’s witchcraft, coupled with the audience reaction, reveals the pagan heart of our country today. No longer out-of-sight, no longer content to hide in the shadows, paganism is front-and-center in all aspects of our culture. From athletics to politics, from Hollywood to Broadway, from Wall Street to Main Street, America is a pagan nation. That’s not good for Tom Brady. In fact, that’s not good for anybody.