Praise the Lord and Pass the Football

What the Supreme Court doesn't know about playing to win in Texas

In the recent Supreme Court ruling against a Texas high school's prayers before football games, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "[P]regame prayer has the improper effect of coercing those present to participate in an act of religious worship." The public-school district had argued that attendance at football games was voluntary and "decidedly extracurricular." Because I played high school football in Texas in the 1980s, one aspect of Justice Stevens' majority response to this distinction struck home to me. By pointing out that "team members themselves" have to be there, he defended those of us who were simply feverish for football and...

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