Last night’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, which featured an upset win by the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots, was sports drama of the highest order. The game came down to the last play, a “Hail Mary” heave from the Patriots’ Tom Brady. And although he passed for a Super Bowl record 505 yards, along with three touchdowns, the seemingly timeless Brady came up short.
Thankfully, to the legions of football fans tired of New England’s dominance, there would be no come-from-behind win this time.
“I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity,” said Doug Pederson, the head coach of the Eagles.
“All glory to God,” declared Nick Foles, Philadelphia’s back-up quarterback and Super Bowl MVP.
It’s been refreshing to see so many high-profile athletes and coaches publicly proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ.
In fact, the day before the game, New England’s Matthew Slater, a fellow believer, even lauded the witness of his opponents.
“I really appreciate Carson’s boldness for the Gospel, how he represents Christ day in and day out,” he said to a reporter about Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ injured starting quarterback. “And it’s not only him. You know, Nick does that as well. Chris Maragos. Brother Burton. I mean, there are a lot of brothers over there that stand firm for what they believe in, they represent the Gospel in a tremendous fashion. Ultimately, I know, to them and myself, that’s what’s going to matter for eternity beyond the game of football,” Slater said.
In a year marred by on-field player protests and boycotts, it was good to see the season end on such a positive and faith-filled note.
People can choose to kneel for lots of things. No player knelt for the National Anthem last night to protest – but inside the Eagles’ locker room, the entire team, led by Coach Pederson, took a knee and together recited The Lord’s Prayer.
In doing so, they were declaring their priorities.
“Physical training is good,” said the apostle Paul. “But training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
That’s a message that every Christian football fan, regardless of team allegiance, should be able to agree on.