“I am not saying that the team should be called ‘White Angels or Leopold II Stars.”
A decade ago, at Mortsel, a community within the Province of Antwerp, I asked a Belgian, the reason the country’s national team is called ‘The Red Devils,’ because there are thousands of good names to be given to a football team.
I made it clear to him that Belgium national team deserves a better name, not ‘The Red Devils,’ because they are all perfect gentlemen and none of them looks like the devil. He looked at my face and asked: Are you religious?
Even though the colour red is very attractive, it is associated with danger, caution or warning and the devil is defined as a dangerous person or an evil being, often represented in human form but with a tail and horns. What the devil likes is to destroy, the reason all the society ailments, including crime, rape, murder etc, are blamed on the devil or Satan.
I guessed the one who named Belgium national team ‘The Red Devils, took the pride of the destruction of the devil into consideration, and envisaged his country’s team to ‘destroy’ or defeat any team that comes their way, but has the Red Devils ever won any major tournament? I don’t know the soccer history of the ‘The Red Devils’ but in Belgium for over sixteen years, that team has made me more miserable than putting happiness on my face.
There is power in names but in a society that many thrive to be rich and go after material things, the spiritual aspect or impact of names on people are often ignored. Why are many people called Mary or Maria? Because she was Jesus’ mother, but hardly you’ll see someone called Jezebel, because she was one of the evilest women in the bible.
Thus, if no one wants to name her daughter Jezebel because of her devilish acts leading to her death and dogs eating her body, why then a team should be named ‘Red Devils?’ I am not saying that the team should be called ‘White Angels or Leopold II Stars.’
In the first place, angels don’t play football and the latter, his ghost is on the wanted list in Africa for committing crime, but all that I am saying is ‘Red Devils’ is really a bad name for a team if the country wants the team to excel, because the ‘Red Devils’ have disappointed and given many Belgians, including me heartaches. The team comes home empty-handed in every tournament just like the devil loses to Jesus always.
Some time ago, the national airline of Belgium, Sabena, was changed to SN Brussels. The time is running out, Belgium should consider changing the national team’s name too if they want to reach the top.
Physically and spiritually the devil can’t win because a good name is more desirable than great riches; and to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22: 1.