Friday, May 05, 2006

Wanna Bet This Get's Pitched to the Springfield Cardinals?

The Birmingham (Ala.) Steeldogs are changing their name for a game tonight, adopting a "Bible theme" for their jerseys. I am not making this up.

Straight from the team's Web site:

For the first time in sports history, a professional franchise will wear Bible-themed jerseys during a game. On Friday, May 5th, the Birmingham Steeldogs arena football team, which plays in the arenafootball2 league (, will don jerseys with the name of Bible hero "SAMSON" embroidered on the front as they take on the Louisville Fire at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Specific Bible chapter and verse references will be created by combining the names and numerals on the backs of each player.

The jerseys have been produced to replicate the Steeldogs regular game jerseys. "Samson" replaces "Steeldogs" across the chest, in reference to the Old Testament hero renowned for his incredible strength. On the back of the jerseys, instead of having the player's last name, it will be replaced by a book of the Bible. The number on the jersey will correspond to a chapter and verse of that particular book.

For example, Steeldogs quarterback Ryan Hawk wears jersey number 12. On May 5, he'll still wear number 12, but the name on his back will change from "HAWK" to "JAMES", referencing the book of James, Chapter 1 Verse 2. The Bible-themed Steeldogs jerseys are the latest creations of Christian Throwback Jersey Company ( of Birmingham.

The idea to wear the Christian jerseys during the game and auction them off with proceeds going to local non-profit ministries developed through a collaborative effort between Steeldogs Managing Partner Scott Myers and Brent High, President of Third Coast Sports.

"We have a long history of reaching out to local churches and youth groups getting them involved in Steeldogs football," said Scott Myers, Steeldogs Managing Partner. "With our team wearing these jerseys, it will help us further those efforts as well as allow us to present an uplifting message of faith to our fans."

The promotion is part of the first of three Barber's Dairy Faith Nights with the Steeldogs. Christian recording artists Audio Adrenaline will perform in a pre-game concert. Free Bibles will be handed out courtesy of Spiritual Outdoor Adventures ( The Bibles will come in handy as those in attendance search to find the Bible references on the jerseys of each Birmingham player.

In 2004 High came up with the idea of giving away camouflaged Bibles and bobble head dolls of Biblical figures Moses, Samson and Noah as part of Faith Nights with the Nashville Sounds. The promotions garnered national coverage from the likes of USA Today, ABC World News Tonight, ESPN's Outside the Lines and The 700 Club.

The Steeldogs will host two more Barber's Dairy Faith Nights this summer. On Saturday, June 24 Aaron Shust will perform a pre-game concert. On Saturday, July 29 Warren Barfield will perform a pre-game concert. VeggieTales characters Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato will also make an appearance on July 29. Tickets to all Barber's Dairy Faith Nights in Birmingham are $10 and include a ticket to the game and concert. Tickets can be ordered by calling 1-888-456-0451.

So the Steeldogs will, as Roger Ailes puts it, be named after "a Biblical character who banged a Philistine hottie, got shaved by said hottie, lost all his strength and then killed himself."

Mr. Ailes also hopes that the "Louisville Fire renames its pleather-clad Wildfire "dance team" the Delilahs and equips each member with a six-pack and a FlowBee two hours before the kickoff.

Side Note: I am related to the lead guitarist of Audio Adrenaline, though we've never met. Tyler Burkum is the son of one of my cousins, whom I think I met one time, though we grew up but a few hours away. But that's another post.
And here is the rest of it.