I think I know who’s going to win the big game.
But first . . .
Over 100 million people will watch Sunday’s Super Bowl contest between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Many of you will be watching for the football. Many more will be watching for the commercials. And some, like my wife, will be indifferent, maybe stopping to catch a few plays or a few minutes here and there.
Jean is like many women, I think. She won’t invest much time or emotion in any game unless she feels a connection to a player or a larger story surrounding the event. Last year’s Super Bowl matchup is a good example. Our advertisement with Pam and Tim Tebow pulled her – and many viewers like her – into the drama of the big game.
In sports, women seem more drawn to the individual whereas men seem to more closely align with a team dynamic.
Do you agree? Or is that too stereotypical?
In any event, in light of that observation, I thought it’d be interesting to provide some quotes from several players regarding their faith. I’ll put their name and number before the quote. If you’re green to the game, you might want to print this out and keep it beside the chips and dip as something of a cheat sheet.
A few caveats:
I don’t personally know any of these gentlemen and simply offer their own words to you for your interest. Second, this is by no means exhaustive. I know there are many more Christians then represented here. This is just a partial list.
Third, I think it’s always a good idea to pray for fellow believers (and non believers) in general – but especially those in the public eye. There is tremendous temptation in the world of professional sports. A few years ago at another Super Bowl, a player was awarded the Bart Starr Award (a Christian-based honor for high moral character) and only hours later was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
Here now is a sampling of gridiron faith at Super Bowl XLV. These quotes come from a variety of sources, including press conferences and print interviews.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
#12 Aaron Rodgers:“We all have a platform, we all have a message in our lives. I just try to follow Jesus’ example, leading by example.”
“God always has a plan for us, a path. Sometimes we wish we knew it sooner,” Rodgers said with a bit of a laugh, “but He always shows up His way.”
#98 C.J. Wilson: “I think it does help when your superstar quarterback is walking with God. I’ve been blessed to be around him and see how God makes all things possible in our lives.” Note: C.J.’s father is a Pentecostal minister in Mt. Olive, N.C.
#32 Brandon Jackson: “God comes first. There’s Christ, then my wife, then my children and then the game of football. I want to be Christ-like. That’s whose going to define me in the end: Christ, not football.”
#85 Greg Jennings: “I just want to let people know what it’s all about. One of the Scriptures I refer to a lot is, ‘to whom much is given, much is required,’ and I’m required to have a voice [for God] because I have a stage and a platform. Number one, all glory goes to God. That’s where it starts and that’s where it finishes.” Note: Greg’s father is a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
#79 Ryan Pickett: “Jesus is a way of life. It’s everything to me.” Note: Ryan has joined an anti-pornography campaign in the NFL. “I value my family and my wife.”
Mike Tomlin, Head Coach: “First and foremost, I want people to know who I am and what the most important thing is in my life, my relationship with Jesus Christ. Football is what we do; faith is who we are all the time.””I want to lead with a servant’s heart.”
#43 Troy Polamalu: “I feel like faith is the foundation of everything I do on the field and off. It determines how you live your life when you love God.”
#9 Daniel Sepulveda: “Every time I hear Kurt Warner talking about his faith, I’m saying, ‘Yeah, give it to them.’ It inspires me to hear guys like that who are willing to share. The joy of the Lord is on them. He’s not on my team here, but we’re on the same team all the time.”
#21 Mewelde Moore: “God is number 1 in my entire life. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it.”
#37 Anthony Madison: “Let me tell you, God is so good. He has blessed me beyond my imagination. If you don’t keep your focus on the Lord, you can find yourself in some situations that you feel like you cannot recover from.”
No offense to Steelers fans! I think it will be a good game.