There was an interesting post on Deadspin.com the other day. It linked to a Forbes piece written by Monte Burke on the once-passe-but-now-reemerging phenomenon of holding up Biblical scripture signs at sporting events.
A while back, I was watching a DVD of the 1986 NLCS playoffs (Mets versus Astros) and I thought about the same thing. During that game, it was impossible to miss a John 3:16 sign in stands. I think there were roughly 3,412 of them, give or take 3,400. I was even thinking about writing a post over at ye olden site about that very phenomenon. I had the title and everything. I was going to call it “Where have you gone John 3:16?”. Amazing, I know. It rolls off the tongue.
What I didn’t have, however, was anything more than the notion that you don’t see those signs anymore. In his article, Burke did what I wanted to do, chronicle the rise and fall (and now reemergence) of John 3:16. He found the man who started the trend (a certified nutbar named Rollen Stewart – check out this video on just how loopy he was), then he wrote about how the signs disappeared for years, but have slowly returned thanks to Tim Tebow’s fame and faith.
(Before I go any further, a word of warning: please do not associate me with Rollen Stewart just because he also had afro wig and was a charismatic fan who wore glasses and liked to do the thumbs-up sign. His afro was rainbow colored, ok?)
My one complaint about Burke’s article was that it failed to mention a sharp turn in the life of 3:16 quoting. Soon after Rollen Stewart disappeared from the limelight and was subsequently locked in the clink for three life terms, an emerging pro wrestler named Stone Cold Steve Austin created his own version of 3:16 and used it as one of his main catch phrases on his way to wrestling immortality. See here:
The timeline then goes a little something like this:
- Rollen Stewart uses John 3:16 from 1980 to 1992
- Stone Cold Steve Austin uses Austin 3:16 from 1996 t0 approximately 2004
- Tim Tebow is sparking a John 3:16 revival in 2009
As you can see, it usually takes about four years after a 3:16 fad faded for it to reemerge. The way I see it, Tim Tebow can’t play forever. I’ll give him until 2020, tops. And that’s if he makes the NFL (which I think he will) and has at least a solid career (to be determined).
So therefore, in 2025 or maybe late 2024 I have to be ready. Ready to pounce with a new 3:16 theme. A “Jordi 3:16″. Or maybe an “Afro 3:16″. Or maybe “The Man 3:16″. Then there has to be a phrase that goes with it.
What do you guys think? What phrase should I use? And if I make the signs will you carry them around town in 2025?
We’re talkin’ global.