As the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are geared up to battle for Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday in Arizona, megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen was asked whether God cares who wins the NFL championship.
"Well you know, I think God cares about us being our best, and obviously somebody's gonna lose, somebody's gonna win, so I don't know," Osteen, co-pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, said when USA Today asked whether God cares who wins the game.
"I think my thing is ... I'd encourage people to pray your skills would come out to the full, and you'd be your best," added Osteen, the pastor of one of the largest churches in America.
"You know I just love watching the game. I love competition...," he said, adding that he grew up watching and playing football so it's fun to see it.
Pastor Osteen also said he loves Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a Christian.
Victoria Osteen, his wife, said she likes to see how different teams play and the strategies they use, and how anything can change any time in the game.
Seattle will be battling for its second consecutive title, while New England will be seeking its fourth Lombardi Trophy of this century.
After the Seattle Seahawks beat Green Bay in the NFC championship game last week, Wilson attributed it to God.
"That's God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special," Sports Illustrated's Peter King quoted Wilson as saying. "I've been through a lot in life, and had some ups and downs. It's what's led me to this day."
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, also a Christian, responded by saying God is not a football fan.
"I don't think God cares a whole lot about the outcome," USA Today quoted Rodgers as saying. "He cares about the people involved, but I don't think he's a big football fan."
Rodgers had earlier said, "We all have a platform, we all have a message in our lives. I just try to follow Jesus' example, leading by example," according to Baptist Press. "God always has a plan for us, a path. Sometimes we wish we knew it sooner, but He always shows up His way."
There are other outspoken Christian football players, including Tim Tebow and Kurt Warner.