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Faith and the Super Bowl

Monday, January 26, 2009 0 comments

From Tom Landry to Roger Staubach, Shawn Alexander, Tony Dungy and last year's Super Bowl hero, David Tyree, a passion for Jesus Christ has been seen by millions of Super Bowl viewers. "You have the eyes and the ears of the world during the Super Bowl, so it’s natural players will want to talk about their faith in Jesus," said Miami Dolphins Chaplain Corwin Anthony, who oversees the Athletes in Action pro ministries program that provides chaplains to 12 NFL teams. "When you have the name of Jesus in you, you just have to get it out," as New York Giants receiver Tyree put it before last year’s miracle catch in the Giants’ upset win over the New England Patriots.

Even the NFL itself, which takes a decidedly neutral stance toward matters of faith, acknowledges a Christian presence in the league. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a question-and-answer interview with Baptist Press published Jan. 23, called faith a private matter for players and coaches, but acknowledged that faith is “an important aspect of their lives.” Christians in the NFL “are always pressured to compromise their faith, but they see the examples put before them as inspiration to share what is important." Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, for example, will be among the most interviewed players, having pulled his career from the NFL scrap heap a decade after leading the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title.

While Warner’s witness for his faith is no secret to anyone who has watched his career, Arizona chaplain Chad Johnson said the veteran player is grateful for another chance to share. "Kurt isn't a get-in-your-face type of guy," Davis said. "But he is a sincere witness."

As a side note, Christian influences also extends into the college ranks, players like Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy who have spoken of their faith to national media audiences.


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