This past week, though, I found something that made me cringe.
The section's feature story was about Annette Legion, the mother of Kentucky basketball player Alex Legion. Annette, the story said, is a prophet - and God has revealed to her that the Wildcats will reach the Final Four this year.
These kinds of claims are far more common than you might expect. In fact, if you watch much sports at all on TV, you've probably heard players thank God for wins and so forth.
Apparently, God is a pretty fickle sports fan. He might give your team a win this week, but maybe he'll change his mind and slap them with a loss next time around.
This attitude reflects an immense selfishness that, sadly, is far too typical of American Christianity. It's this belief that God's primary concern is my happiness.
What if your happiness is somebody else's unhappiness? Did God award Colts coach Tony Dungy with a Super Bowl trophy last year at the expense of any Christians who played for the Chicago Bears?
No. The Super Bowl came down to gameplans, execution and all the other ingredients that go into building a successful football team. It had nothing to do with which team was the most "spiritual."
This translates to other arenas, too. Kathy Griffin even unwittingly touched on it in her rant at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards recently.
I'll venture to say she was right about one thing: Jesus didn't have anything to do with her winning her award - at least not directly. You could argue that God blessed her with the talent to do what she does, but he didn't have an Emmy vote.
While a relationship with God can and does bring joy and peace and all those good things, that's not the ultimate purpose. God isn't Pedro from "Napoleon Dynamite" - "Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true."
The primary purpose of salvation is to allow us to be a part of God's process of redeeming the world.
Need more proof that God doesn't hand out championships? Look at those cheating New England Patriots.
Jarrod Sherman can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com