Tom Brady, Sociologist of Religion

It turns out football players aren’t half-bad sociologists. Religion of Sports, a new TV documentary series, is the work of three odd bedfellows: Tom Brady, the ultra-famous New England Patriots quarterback; Michael Strahan, the former New York Giant and current Good Morning America co-host; and Gotham Chopra, the filmmaker and son of Deepak Chopra, the New Age, self-help, alternative-medicine-advocating guru. Over six episodes, the show, which airs on DirecTV’s Audience network, follows athletes and fans from the worlds of NASCAR, rodeo, Mixed Martial Arts, baseball, soccer, and online multi-player video games. The theory, as you might guess from the title, is that sports, broadly constructed, are a kind of religion. As Chopra intones during the introduction, with images of stadiums and religious pilgrimages rolling by, sports “have believers, priests, and gods. They have rituals, miracles, and sacrifices. Sports unite us. They are a calling.”

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