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Saints, American Christianity Face off in Religious March Madness Alternatives

Saints, American Christianity Face off in Religious March Madness Alternatives



Many approach filling out March Madness brackets with something like religious fervor.


But two sports fans have taken things a step further with long-running online competitions that put religion instead of hoops in the bracket.


Both Lent Madness, a matchup of saints, and American Jesus Madness, a matchup of people and issues lifted from headlines and Christian culture, make sure the faithful don’t end up sitting on the sidelines during the monthlong NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.


Lent Madness


Lent Madness got its start in 2010 on the blog of the Rev. Tim Schenck, rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Mass.


“I’m a big sports fan and obviously a big saint fan, and I thought, ‘OK, here we are during the season of Lent, and basketball fans are having all the fun. We Christians who are participating in the season of Lent are kind of doomed to give stuff up and rub dirt in our faces and do acts of penitence,’” Schenck said.


“I thought, ‘What if we combined the bracket concept with an online tool to learn and inspire people of faith?’”


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