Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kitna Lacking Perspective

I am glad Jon Kitna is apparently healthy and his concussion evidently wasn’t too serious. I think it was a great story line the Lions won a game Sunday over the Vikings they would have probably lost in the past. Kitna turned in what was, in a football sense, an heroic effort.
I just wish Kitna would keep God out of it.
I have no issues at all with athletes - or anybody else - having strong religious faith. It bothers some, but not me, that Kitna wears a cross on his cap when he gives interviews. It’s who he is and it seems perfectly natural to express it.
I, however, take issue when athletes such as Kitna act as if God is on their side when it comes to athletic contests.
Kitna called his return to Sunday’s game "a miracle." He was also quoted as saying it involved, "the hand of God."
Seems like, when you really think about it, that statement is more pompous than grateful.
There are many religious beliefs in this country. All are accepted by this nation, including the right not to believe in a God at all.
But I am unaware of any religion that believes God is on the Lions’ side and wouldn’t take the Vikings players into account, too.
While Kitna was able to return for the end of the game, Minnesota quarterback Tavaris Jackson was out with an injury. Was that a miracle, too, that involved the hand of God? Does God love Kitna and the Lions more than Jackson and the Vikings?
Maybe it wasn’t intentional. Perhaps they were meant as innocent, joyous comments. Regardless, Kitna did cross a line that indicates his perspective is skewed.

Random Thoughts

- Well, I think it’s time to admit I was wrong. Early in the season, when Cleveland jumped up as a leading contender, I didn’t think the Indians had the staying power to win the American League Central. I didn’t feel Cleveland’s bullpen was deep enough, nor did I think the Indians were a good enough fielding club. They have proven those concerns were not justified. And the Indians haven’t backed in, either. The Tigers did push them in September - and the Tribe pushed back.

- People who think the game has passed Joe Paterno by are wrong. Did you know Penn State has won 25 of its last 30 games, finished 2005 ranked No.3, last season in the Top 25 and is currently ranked No. 10 by the Associated Press? Michigan will have its hands full Saturday.

- The more I think about it, the more I’d be inclined to pick up the $13 million option on Pudge Rodriguez’s contract. The Tigers will still contend next season and catching is too important of a position to leave vulnerable considering the dearth of catching in the game today. I just don’t see other viable options.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,

I love reading your blog and listening to you talk on the radio, especially about baseball.

I completely agree with you about Jon Kitna and the God comments. I am a Christian and I believe that God's concerns are not really with the Lion's NFL standings...at least its not in the Bible. But, we do see it a lot in todays culture. I believe Kitna's comments go hand in hand with the nonsense "prosperity gospel" message we see so prevelant today. Its such a self-centered message, which is quite opposite of the what is actually in the Gospels. Like you said, maybe he didn't mean it like that, but it always irks me to hear people talking like that.

Thanks again for all the great stuff you talk and write about.

-Grant

1:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Grant,
Thanks for the compliment and I appreciate your perspective. Applying religious values to day-to-life can be a slippery slope. Seems like if Kitna walks on it much more, he might find himself falling off of it.
Caputo

1:23 PM 
Blogger Big Al said...

I often disagree with you Pat, but in this case, well said. There is a fine line between having faith, and proselytizing that faith. It's obvious that Kitna has a religious agenda, and is using his bully pulpit as the Lions QB to forward that agenda.

As someone who suffers from a life changing disease, and wonders why God "Cured" Kitna, but leaves me, and millions of others, in a great deal of pain, well, I can't help be be a little pissed over Kitna's pompous righteousness. Thing is, I don't know if I have the right to be upset, or even should be upset, but I am. That's how divisive religion can be.

I think religion is an intensely private thing, and should remain that way. Period.

3:02 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, Tigers might even declined the option on Pudge and resign him to a two year deal because there is nothing out there. He is still good defensively and probably calls a good game with all his experience. Just wish they would move him down in the lineup.
Can Omar Vizguel still play shortstop at age 41?

3:23 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book,

I thought your writing of Kitna's comments went beyond good writing.

That was elequent.

Pudge has to be kept. Even if we could get a better catcher (who?)- this team is centered around Pudge, Mag's, Polanco and Guillen.

The combination of those day-to-day players is the core of the Tigers Fusion.

We can't let that core expire yet.

That game Monday night with Zumaya's C-game showing up to give up our lead broke the spell.

Blake's walk off homer slammed the door.

Our guys did everything you could ask. Except beat Cleveland. Cleveland proved to me too that they are the better team - beating us while we are red-hot. We are not mathematically eliminated yet ..

Maybe John Kitna could put in a good word for us?

3:41 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Well I have to admit I thought on Monday the Tigers were on their way. Kenny pitches a servicable game. The bats though leaving some good insurance runs on base was ok. Then here comes everyones Hero. the guy we couldn't wait to get back in the pen. Zumya! He did what every other reliver including himself a few times and that is give the game up. The tigers beat themselves. The pitching was no where near what it was advertised this year. and lets face it the underachivement at the plate even worse. My mind the Tigers should of swept this series. They as they did last year in the world series through the season away.

Now that I think it is safe to look to next year. I disagree with Dumbrowski. I think we need to sign another arm or aquire one if available. If you can improve despite who is on your team you do it. I like Inge I am fine with keeping him. However, if you can get an A-Rod(which I doubt), Tejada, or even a Renteria. Fine! but either Casey or Inge got to go. I also think we need another Outfielder. I'd like to see us make an attempt to go grab Andruw Jones if we can some how lure him away from Atlanta. I like Thames, but like last year he is not an everyday player. He does better when he has something to prove. With all that said. I agree I say crap we keep pudge. Illitch can afford the 13 mil. and still upgrade. You can use pudge at Firstbase next year to spell Guillen. If you upgrade there.

4:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not read Kitna's comments, but have a general opinion on your reaction.

If a person feels as strong personally and spiritually as he does for his God, and sees the things that happen in his life as a result of his beliefs, be careful about then extending this into hypocritical examples of how his belief structure is then wrong or misguided.

These are feelings he holds as core beliefs, and he gains strength and security from them. They stand alone for him. His mistake may be putting it out in public, where it will be interpreted in ways he probably never invisioned or intended.

Of course he is a very public figure, and people in your profession would expect and encourage him to be candid and open.

I myself am not a religious person, but I know many who are, and I respect their values and beliefs.

Allan

4:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Big Al,
Obviously, I agree. The more you see, "the hand of god" statement in print, the more disturbing it becomes. I mean, God rescued the Lions Sunday, but did allow Hurricane Katrina happen. Jon Kitna and the Lions must be awful special to provide him and them with a miracle cure, but not one for you.
Caputo

5:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
That might be a way to go. But how good is he going to be in two years? Also, that is the last year of Sheffield's contract. It's a gamble to put so much money in players at that stage of their career, even Hall of Fame caliber ones.
Caputo

5:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Thanks for the compliment, Fred, coming from you it means a lot...God, evidently, wasn't on the Tigers' side in Cleveland.
Caputo

5:53 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allen,
I don't have a problem with his beliefs per say. Most of us who do pray, do so for individual wants and needs. But it seems as if Kitna believes he is special in God's eyes.
Caputo

5:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
I like their young pitchers - Miller and Jair in particular. I am not so sure they need to make getting a starting pitcher a priority. I think shortstop, with Guillen going to first base, will be first in line.
Caputo

6:00 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, you just wrote: "I think shortstop, with Guillen going to first base, will be first in line."

Do you think in their wildest moments they have talked seriously about A-Rod? Besides he IS a shortstop! Just think of him as two players – and two salaries. LOL!

Cheers,
Danny

7:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished listening to you on WXYT regarding John Kitna's comments after Sunday's football game. I agree with your opinion completely. Once a person says something in the public domain; especially regarding religion, politics or sex; that person should be questioned regarding their motives.

8:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,

I enjoy listening to your discussions and I believe your comments about Kitna are important and in reality should be discussed well beyond the boundaries of sports. I have several people in my family that are fundamentalist Christians, which appears to be similar to Kitna's beliefs. With my family, they feel it is their duty to evangelize the rest of the world. They believe that anyone that believes differently than themselves will be punished for eternity by God for their disbelief or different views. I personally think that this sort of belief system is borderline insanity, but that's just one man's opinion. I think what many people don't understand (especially many that called your radio station to disagree with you) is that there are many people out there with this type of belief. They call it Christianity, but it is a very narrow view of Christianity. If you fail to meet any of their criteria, you will be called a non-Christian even if you are a Catholic, Lutheran or other Christian based belief. They do believe that God is on their side and does indeed perform miracles such as what Kitna claimed. They believe this is a tool for them to use to evangelize the rest of us heathens and convert us to their side. They believe they are battling Satan for all the non-believing souls. That's why many of them are so pushy with their views.

I can tell you that in my family, this belief system causes many problems. It is very difficult to communicate with people that have no use for logical thinking. They will easily claim miracle when something happens like the Kitna injury and "miraculous" recovery. If someone such as Jackson gets injured and doesn't return, they will say God didn't perform the miracle because he isn't a true Christian. Or if the person does claim to be a Christian, then that person has sin in their life and they need to come clean of their sins. If Kitna hadn't returned to the game, he could easily claim that it wasn't God's will or God is just testing his faith. They conveniently switch their answers to mesh with their beliefs. I can only assume that this will eventually cause problems with other players in the locker room that may not believe the same as Kitna. (I'm assuming of course that Kitna has similar beliefs as my fundamentalist family members).

I feel compelled to write this, not only because of my experience with my own family, but because I see this type of belief system spreading rapidly throughout our country. Many people in power in this country today hold the same fundamentalist beliefs and I think they are dangerous and they don't deserve the free pass many are so willing to give them. They will do everything in their power to discredit anything that contradicts with their belief. That's why you see science under attack today. I believe we are in a war today because the president who claims to be "born again" really believes he fighting for God among other things. How many "God bless America" bumper stickers do you see while driving down the road? Do you really think God has a nationality? Many people obviously do.

On a lighter note, if Kitna is telling the truth and God did perform a miracle, the NFL has a much bigger problem on its hands than the Patriot's cheating scandle.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts and keep up the important discussions.

-Dave

8:13 PM 
Blogger djb said...

Pat, you are correct in that God doesn't love or care for the Detroit Lions and John Kitna more than the Vikings and T.Jackson. It has nothing to do with a football game at all. God isnt in the sports business, he is in the people business. I understand where Kitna is coming from if you would allow me shed a little light on the subject. As a christian, it is a responsibility and an expectation of God, for us to share and spread the word of Jesus Christ. To win souls. To glorify God for our achievements, blessings,our accomplishments and even our failures. For in defeat and failure we learn and grow and that too is a blessing in the future. We are to strive to edify people and build others up and not to criticize ,judge or accuse others, but simply to accept others and be prepared to help others when the time comes, to witness to them about the forgiveness and glory of God, and to bring others to come to know Christ. As Christians we believe God will hold us accountable for things of this world and also if we have led others to come to know Christ as their personal savior.Kitna was simply giving God the glory for being able to return to the game.He was letting everyone know that his success was nothing of his own doing but that of his belief in God playing a part and creating a situation in which he could witness to others about Jesus Christ's love for all of us. It wasnt to say that God loves the lions and not the Vikings or any other sports team,etc. He was simply stating that God deserves the glory, not John Kitna, and doing his job to try to witness to any one that doesn't know Jesus CHrist as their savior. And if one soul is saved, it is worth ten times the criticism he will recieve from you and the rest of the world. After all, thousands of people are talking about this tonight, and maybe just maybe, it will save one soul,maybe even yours. Thanks, I enjoy your show, and wish you the best in all you do.

8:19 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, you are choosing to look at this issue with a jaded eye.

If John Kitna feels that his relationship with his God allowed him to achieve a level of performance otherwise unattainable by him then so be it. If he feels this is a miracle, who are you or I to argue?

Forgive me, but you trivialize and make lite of this by equating his belief to saying that God himself deemed the Lions were somehow more worthy of devine intervention then Minnesota. This is beneath you, or what I thought you were about.

Allan

8:25 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Kitna said that God helped him when he asked for it. It had nothing to do with their win, or even that he played football again during the game, but that he was completely healed in his mind, and felt that God did that for him. I didn't see that as pompous at all, and I TRULY HATE pompous religious people. When people say that God gave them a touchdown or a win, I don't like hearing that, but to say that God helped you when you were hurt, I don't see that as Pompous at all.

8:56 PM 
Anonymous Lawrence said...

Pat I think you shouldn't blast Kitna for publicly proclaiming his faith in God as a healer. It has nothing to with the football game. He is doing what the Bible commands that all believers do. He his giving God the glory for what man can't understand and what man can't do. He is just testifying that God is present in all situations. You ask why Tavaris Jackson wasn't healed and able to go back and play. Maybe he doesn't believe in the power of God the way Kitna does and God is using Kitna to show other players his healing powers. That is the way the Lord works by using other to witness to those who don't believe. So don't criticize Kitna for giving God the glory because most people are ashamed to do that publicly.

9:51 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, catching is an important position, as long as Pudge can catch that is cool. There is really nothing out there for catchers in the free agency market over the next two years except for Victor Martinez in 2009. I guess it is a possibilty the Indians will not be able to afford him. If Martinez hits the markets after 08 season, every team will want him.
Trade for shortstop Tejada would be cool. But in reality the Tigers would probably have to give up their prospects. JJ should be taken off the trade market to see if he is the real deal.

10:15 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

anonymous,
It's difficult to understand whether there was motive there or just a statement. I suspect it was "spreading the word," which is fine in certain time or place, but I am not sure it is in context to football.
Caputo

11:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Danny,
If A-Rod is on the market, a lot of teams will be after him. I would say, realistically, the Tigers chances of landing him are slim and none.
Caputo

11:51 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Dave,
My point wasn't to target Kitna's beliefs per say as much as to point out how he forced his view to the public and how it disregarded others involved in the game, such as Minnesota's quarterback.
Caputo

11:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

djb,
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. although I generally disagree with you. If Kitna weren't a football player or if the Lions had lost instead of won, I can't help but to believe "the hand of God" and "miracle" never would have come up. I have no issue with Kitna trying to get his beliefs to others, but not in such a public context.
Caputo

12:06 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allan,
I have a right to my opinion, just as you do. I have never been shy about expressing it. I don't see how holding a certain opinion can be "beneath me." Disagreements and discussions about them is what makes this world go around. It's when we polarize ourselves and are afraid to speak our minds that learning and growth are stunted. Guess we have to agree to disagree on this one, but that's OK. There are no hard feelings on my part.
Caputo

12:11 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Marty,
I can understand that from a health standpoint. You kmow, thanking God you are healthy when it seemed you were hurt. But it did seem he went beyond that with his inference - and wanted that message out. At least that's what I read into those statements.
Caputo

12:14 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Lawrence,
There is a differece between "blasting" someone and questioning their statement. I tried to state my opinion as vehemently as possible without being overly harsh.You and I disagree on the Jackson issue and that is where the crux of the matter comes up as far as I am concerned. Does he believe God loves him and is willing to perform miracles for him he wouldn't for Jackson because his beliefs are so "right." If that is true, I have to take issue with it.
Caputo

12:19 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
Seems like Tejada has quickly lost his tools and might not be a good investment in terms of his salary and cost in players at this stage. The times I have seen Baltimore play this year when he wasn't hurt, he hasn't looked good at all.
Caputo

12:40 AM 
Blogger Bryan said...

Right now, I like Cleveland's chances in the postseason. Throughout the season, they have found ways to win games that they clearly shouldn't have (mostly against the Tigers, mind you). Byrd and Westbrook seem to have the experience under the belt in order to really shine in October. Enough has been said about Carmona and Sabathia -- their numbers speak for themselves. The '07 Indians are a great home team that seems to pick up steam as the game goes on and seem invincible out of the bullpen -- I've not seen one relief pitcher dominate the Tigers on such a consistent basis as Betancourt has. Maybe Jenks.

I think this year's postseason is shaping up to be more exciting than last year's. Granted the Tigers won't be there, but the four teams out of the AL in October are four truly great ball clubs. I don't think the same could've been said with Minnesota and Oakland in the playoffs in '06.

If AL isn't your bag, then you can look towards the NL where the perennial losers out of Chicago are fighting their way in. Last year the Mets were the best team in the NL and I was shocked they weren't playing the Tigers in the World Series. This year though, I like their odds with Pedro back.

No, the Tigers won't be playing in October but for those of us who truly love baseball, this will be the most exciting month all year.

2:09 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Bryan,
I am with you on postseason baseball. I enjoy it immensely. Doesn't matter if the Tigers are it or not. This postseason will be particularly interesting. Seems like just about everybody getting in has about an even chance. There is no clear-cut favorite.
Caputo

2:21 PM 
Blogger Teach313 said...

Pat,
I enjoy listening to you talk baseball. You have a great understanding of the rhythm and time-span of baseball. I hope everyone round here appreciates what the Tigers have done the past two years. They are building a solid team that should be competitive for the next few years as well.

9:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Teach 313,
I think they do appreciate the Tigers. They have played hard this season until the end. It's been good to see. It will be a tricky off season, though.
Caputo

9:45 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Yah Pat I do agree just wearing a cross or thanking God for minor things is a bit off the mark. Lot of people point to all the great things that Christ did,even some Jews do to, such as raise the dead, cure the sick or disable by touch ect,. I cannot find a word to discribe that. People get caught up he will save their souls, great.
The amazing thing he did was he brought God to the Gentile World. He created the largest religion in the world. Even some Jews and Muslin religions are affected by Christ.
To me he should be a role model for mankind to follow for some of his character traits. I would say he was tough, dedicated ( as he was beaten and crucified for his and God's cause)wise, kind, helpful to others, ambitions, treated woman and other with respect ect. Now that is a role model! Role models are not the Barry Bonds, A-Rod or Babe Ruth, even though it would been great to watch the Babe. The real heroes in this life are people that got a raw deal. I still do not see connection between sports and religion or if does exist it is not really worth noting I think. I do respect what Pudge does when he give thanks but look like a personal ritual and not selling something.

12:27 PM 

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