John Westwood is the most fanatical football fan in England. At his home in Portsmouth, his lounge has become a shrine to his beloved god. Everything is branded with the badge of Portsmouth Football Club; the cushions, the teddy bears, the curtains, the wallpaper and even the carpets. When worshipping at Portsmouth's stadium Fratton Park, John's appearance is always flamboyant and eccentric. He wears an extended top hat, a blue wig and a checked waistcoat. On his chest there is a tattoo that declares his faith: "I'm Portsmouth till I die!"
In 1989 he changed his name, by deed poll, from John Anthony Westwood to John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. Sadly his wife and children have left him and his finances are in a complete mess. John has sacrificed everything to his false god.
Application of the story
God loves football, but he doesn't want us to worship football. If we read Romans 1:25 we become aware that worshipping rats, football or 'economic growth' is very harmful for human-beings. Jesus contended that people could worship money (Matthew 6:24); Paul argued that some people worship their stomachs (Philippians 3:19); the prophet Habakkuk asserted that the Babylonians worshipped power (Habakuk 1:11). Here we have a much broader and richer understanding of religion.
John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood understands this only too well. He knows that he is into religion. He knows that he has made Pompey his god. John is a person who sacrifices on a daily basis to his pagan god. What does John sacrifice? His marriage, his children and his money. All sacrificed on the altar of his idolatry.
Worldview and the story
How does Big John answer the five big questions?
Where am I?
I am living in a world of football. Nothing else really exists. Maybe a few books and a few houses, but the really important stuff is football and, of course, the greatest team on earth is Portsmouth.
Who am I?
I am a devoted fan of the Portsmouth football team. My name is John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. Even my blue budgies are named after the club. I am prepared to make every sacrifice for my goddess.
What's gone wrong?
Many people do not support and worship Pompey. They support other teams like Arsenal and Southampton. Sometimes relationships with spouses and children get in the way of my faithful service of my goddess. Sometimes I do not have sufficient funds to follow her all the time.
What's the solution?
If only everyone would follow Pompey, life would be sweet. If only we could win every honour in the game. Silverware galore for Pompey. European champions and English champions. Let us worship our goddess and heaven will come to earth.
What happens when I die?
Not really sure about this. We will probably rot and be eaten by worms but if there is a heaven, it will be a world where Pompey always win.