A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of conversing with Chad Gibbs, author of God and Football. He invited me to his private Sweat Lodge, but I couldn’t make it, so we settled for an email conversation. Later, Chad told me that he emailed me while in the Sweat Lodge. He’s as committed to excellence as he is to sweat lodges.
The occasion of our emailing was to celebrate the National Championship Edition release of God and Football. It comes with an Auburn-themed cover and a new chapter devoted to last year’s championship run. If you haven’t read the book yet, hustle up and get the special edition version because there is a limited supply. If you have read it, then STILL buy it because it has new stuff to keep you entertained.
Leave a comment to become eligible to win either: a copy of the National Championship Edition of his book OR 15 minutes in Chad’s Sweat Lodge. The stakes are high, people.
When did you begin loving Auburn?
I was raised to cheer for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and had planned to further my education in Tuscaloosa, until a fateful visit to Auburn in 1998. I applied to Auburn, enrolled, and over the course of the next couple years fell in love with the place. My conversion was Pauline in every sense, except the sense of going blind.
Just so we’re clear, you’re essentially calling Alabama fans Pharisees. Is that a correct reading of the implication?
No, you said that. Wasn’t Paul a tentmaker before he became a traveling scripture writer? I’m calling Bama fans tentmakers.
Why write a book about God and football?
My areas of expertise are limited to football and Star Wars, and Zondervan didn’t seem interested in God and Star Wars.
Have you considered a book about God and Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches?
Yes. I actually sent Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A CEO, a copy of my book, in hopes he would love it and purchase 85,000 copies to giveaway at the Chick-fil-A Bowl in December. He didn’t purchase 85,000 books, but he did send me a coupon for a free sandwich.
If memory serves, Auburn wasn’t great in 1998. So what was it on your first visit to Auburn that fundamentally changed you?
Your memory does serve, but I visited it February of 1998, so Auburn was coming off an SEC West Title. That being said, it wasn’t the football that got me. I remained a Bama fan for while at Auburn. I fell in love with the town, and the people, and the family atmosphere at Auburn first. Oh, and a girl may have had something to do with it.
Compare Cam Newton to a figure from Christianity. Could be recent or historical. (Sidebar: I’m hoping you don’t pick Jesus.)
Cam is a lot like Camon from Leviticus. You remember the story, Camon’s father Cezil tried to sell him to Mulan of Dan, but Camon escaped and fled to Al Burn, where God smiled upon him and gave him all the duck he could eat. (I’m assuming of course that none of your readers have actually read Leviticus)
Do you think it’s a coincidence that passion for football also happens to be centered in the part of the US identified as the buckle of the bible belt?
Isn’t there a theory that says Southerners descended from the Scottish Highlands, and that’s where we get our passion and quick tempers. Seems like I read about it in a Gladwell book, or maybe it was a dream.
Do you think other parts of the country are just as passionate in general, but they redirect this passion into other areas? If so, what would you assign to each region as their passion?
I don’t actually know anyone outside of the south, but I assume they are passionate about things. I hear people in Wisconsin love taxidermy. I’ve read that the citizens of Delaware are completely obsessed with antique medical equipment. And New Mexico, they are obviously so obsessed with Mexico they stole its name. So to answer your question, all of the above.
If God/Yahweh is the deity you chose to associate with football, which deity would you associate with baseball?
Are we counting Bo Jackson as a god? If not, Vishnu.
How do you feel about Terry Bowden? The Bowden family at large?
This is a trick question. When Bowden was at Auburn, I was an Alabama fan. So his good years were bad for me, and his bad years were good. Then I went to Auburn, and became and Auburn fan, so I’m suppose to view his good years as good, and his bad years as bad, which goes against my memories of those events. I guess I’m numb towards Terry, and as for the Bowden’s as a whole, I think they are okay, dadgummit, even though Bobby’s book outsold mine last fall.
What would you say is the most vibrant parallel between the idea of God and Football?
Worship maybe? I truly believe if you were to drop some tribesmen from the Amazon into an SEC stadium, assuming of course he survived the fall, he would think he was at some ritualistic worship ceremony with cheerleaders.
Best single season college football team ever OR which Kardashian sister is the most annoying?