Dumb questions and smart-alec answers

This is Super Bowl week ni our part of Planet Earth.  In January 29, 2018’s USA Today, reporter Josh Peter wrote about “infamous Super Bowl” questions which sports reporters have been known to toss to athletes.

During Super Bowl week back in 1994, a reporter asked Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas what got him psyched up for big games.  “I read the newspaper and look at all the stupid questions you all ask,” he answered.

So, Reporter Josh Peter gave us some of his “most infamous” (translation: dumb, dumb, dumb!) questions from Super Bowl weeks in years past….

–“Was it dead mother, blind father or blind mother, dead father?”  The reporter was asking Quarterback Jim Plunkett to clarify the situation of his parents. Correct answer: Plunkett’s mother is blind and alive, his father blind but no longer living.

We read that and wonder what kind of crassness would prompt a normal human to ask such an unthinking question.

–“If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”  This was asked of Dexter Manley of the Redskins.  In the USA article, Josh Peter writes that the correct answer–whatever that means–is  “Something big, perhaps a giant sequoia.”   But according to a newspaper at that time, Manley answered, “What? Speak to me in a language I can understand, man!”

This is the kind of question a reporter asks when everything else has been covered and no one can think of anything more.  A better question would be, “Ready for lunch? I am.”

–“So why do they call you Boomer?”  Asked of Joe Montana, the QB for the 49ers.  Answer: “They don’t.  They call Boomer Esiason that. The quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.”

Some newspapers without sports staffs will assign someone to cover the Super Bowl just to get in the game. So, you end up with clueless people asking asinine questions.

–“What’s your relationship with the football?”  Asked of Joe Salave’a, defensive tackle for the Titans.  Answer: “I’d say it’s strictly platonic.”

Ditto.  Time to go to the house now.

Such questions! And it’s not just football…

Professional athletes figure newspaper editors search until they find someone denser than themselves and hire them to cover sports.

When Brett Butler came to the Atlanta Braves baseball club a generation ago, the reporters gathered around to interview him.  How did he like Atlanta, what did he think of the team he was joining, and such.  One reporter said, “When your parents named you Brett Butler, were they thinking of Rhett Butler and that someday you would be in Atlanta playing for this team?”  Well, duh.

Some questions are better left unasked.  For an answer, a rolling of the eyes is quite sufficient.

In my part of the world, here is a well-known one from 1962.  James Meredith was integrating the University of Mississippi, and being escorted by a number of federal marshalls at the order of the President of the United States, I think.  One black man surrounded by a dozen white guys, got it?  Governor Ross Barnett was doing his version of “standing in the schoolhouse door” to block Meredith from entering.  (I got to know him somewhat 10 years later when I was a minister in my present church, and Governor Barnett sat on the front row in every service. He was kind and gracious.)  According to the story, as the little entourage approached, Governor Barnett asked, “Which one of you is James Meredith?” (I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the quote, but it’s been around for 50 years, and I imagine it’s true.)

Any dumb questions in Scripture?  I asked my friends to submit their favorite dumb questions found in the Word.  Here are some of the results….

–Nicodemus said, “Can an old man go back into his mother’s womb?” (John 3:4).

–Cain said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)

–Nathanael said, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

–“Lord, are you aware the Pharisees were offended by what you said?” (Matthew 15:12).

–“Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” (Matthew 22:28)

–Satan:  “Did God say you shall not eat of all the trees of the garden?”  (Genesis 3:1)

–Martha: “Lord, do you not care….?”  (Luke 10:38-42)

–“Why did we ever leave Egypt?” (Numbers 11:20).

And my all-time favorite dumb question: “How do I know the Lord loves me?”

People ask it all the time. Usually it’s prompted by something bad having happened in their lives or surroundings.  It’s not a terrible question, but the answer should be so obvious that asking it would be pointless.

Answer:  Look around you.  Consider the world God has made for you.  Look at the perfection of it, the beauty of it, the science of it.  The best world of all the worlds we have yet to see in the universe.  He is so generous.

Consider that God has not squashed you and me because of our sinfulness. That speaks volumes of His love.

Look at the love of people around you. Even the pets shower you with love.  Truly God is love.

Best of all, look at Jesus. The Lord Jesus is God’s love-statement to the world.  John 3:16, for starters.

Look at the cross.  One glance at that and we know forever the depth of God’s love for you.

The question is not how do we know He loves us, but what are we doing to do in response to His love?  That’s the question of the ages.

Hey friend, try not to give a dumb answer to it.




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