Three times this year, an underdog New York team went into a major sports classic against a highly touted Baltimore club, and each time they came out on top. The Jets manhandled the Colts in the pro football Super Bowl. The Knicks humiliated the Bullets in the pro basketball playoffs. And in another surprise, the Mets trounced the Orioles in the baseball World Series.

So extraordinary was this latter feat that numerous observers have been attributing it to divine intervention. Met pitcher Tom Seaver speculated that God might have an apartment in New York. “Indeed,” Religious News Service reported, “deity has gotten a much better play in the sports section in recent weeks than in the Saturday church page. ‘God is alive and living in Shea Stadium’ got to be a cliché.” A clever RNS reporter said God could be a candidate for the comeback-of-the-year award.

To be sure, this is irreverent humor. But considering all the things organized religion is getting blamed for these days, we’ll not complain.

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