Ever since the league offered to relax their enforcement of touchdown celebrations, new Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks has been a bit of a target.
Celebrations which involve mimicking violence are still verboten, but Cooks doesn’t know where his bow-and-arrow routine stands with the league.
And just to clear it up, he said this week the celebration had more to do with The Bible than any particular love of archery.
“It comes from Psalms 144:6: ‘Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot your arrows and rout them,’ ” Cooks said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “It’s just one of those things that my faith is the biggest part of my life and I feel like the reason why I am where I am today with the gifts that I have.
“So it’s just another way to be able to glorify God rather than just pointing to the sky [after a touchdown]. Just bringing a unique way, so my hope is when fans see me, they see God in me. That’s the biggest part of it all.”
Unless Cooks plans on passing out Old Testaments to everyone who walks into a stadium, it’s likely that many of them are going to be thinking Comanches or William Tell as much as King David.
“The first thing that comes to your mind is something else,” Cooks admitted. “It’s unfortunate. The biggest is probably the league not understanding it. There’s no violence in it for me at all. I’m not shooting it at anyone. I’m not pointing it toward anyone.
“If anything, I’m shooting it at God. It’s my way of thanking him and bringing a little twist to it.”
While we generally prefer our church and state separate (and football has become a de facto arm of state long ago), it’s clear Cooks has put a lot of thought into this. As long as his Sunday school class doesn’t lead to Rob Gronkowski turning up in a fig leaf, it’s hard to find much harm in it.