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Is Basketball a Religion in Chicago?

A recent tongue-in-cheek commentary by Ira Glass, a Chicago-based National Public Radio reporter, made it clear why the Bulls command the hearts and souls of Chicagoans: They are deities. According to Glass, one local fan reported having a dream in which Michael Jordan appeared both as his own dead father and as Jesus, the Healer. Glass concluded that if this fan was typical, the Bulls were not only on the minds of Chicagoans, they were deeply implanted in their subconscious -- and maybe even in their souls!

Dennis Rodman
Glass went on to say that there are even people who believe Dennis Rodman, he of the varicolored hair, the taunting mouth, and the hammer-like elbows under the boards, may be the Antichrist.

Bull, sez we (so to speak). Sure, the Antichrist has every reason to disguise himself as Michael Jordan's teammate, but if Michael Jordan were Jesus, surely he would recognize the guise of his opponent and say, "Get thee behind me, Dennis."

Basketball is not a real religion, and the Bulls are not deities. After all, they failed to take the championship in the four-game sweep that many predicted and came close to being blown out of Seattle's Key Arena in game 4.

Still, the Bovines may very well be the stuff of myths -- a subject explored in an unusually creative way at Mythopeia, a Web site rated 4 stars by the McKinley Magellan Internet Guide.

Posted June, 1996.
© Copyright 1996 OBS