Life is interesting.
I recently accepted an invitation to speak to a pregnancy resource center in St. Louis. It’s always an honor to meet these modern-day heroes. A few weeks prior to my visit, a member of the Focus team received a telephone call from a very kind Focus listener named Lory. Apparently Lory had been listening to a local Christian radio station in Missouri and heard an advertisement promoting the upcoming event and my participation.
Lory is also an employee of the St. Louis Rams football team. She very generously offered to give me a tour of the Rams’ training facility. Being a huge football fan and having rooted for the Rams back in their Los Angeles days, I was very much interested. I asked if I could bring two friends, Joel and Doug, my Focus colleagues who would be with me. She said the more the merrier. Our time there was very limited, but Lory greeted us and gave us a quick tour of the Rams Park at the Russell Training Center in St. Louis. It’s an impressive facility! It’s easy to forget all the work that goes on behind the scenes of an NFL franchise.
Just as our tour was ending, our gracious host checked to see if Steve Spagnuolo, the team’s head coach, was in his office. Sure enough, he was. She introduced us and we had a quick but nice chat. Steve and his wife, Maria, are both familiar with the Focus ministry, and Steve expressed their appreciation.
Steve Spagnuolo is entering his third year (pending resolution of the current NFL lockout) as head coach of the Rams. He inherited a troubled team and has been working feverishly to restore the franchise to its previous winning ways. He’s off to a good start, but I am especially impressed with how Steve frames his perspective on the broader issues of life. He has the right attitude.
“I think my faith is everything,” he once told a reporter. “It’s the foundation of what I am.”
When a reporter asked him how he endured a 1-15 first season, he pointed to his family:
“Good wife. Trust me on that one. She’s special, and that helps. It’s not easy.”
When the coach was asked to sum up the career of Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner, he pointed not to Warner’s Super Bowl championship during his time with the Rams but to his faith:
“I have had the privilege to watch and compete against Kurt for the last 12 years, beginning in 1998 in NFL Europe,” he said. “I have always admired Kurt for his athletic talents, but more so for what he stood for. His faith in Christ and his character as a man are tremendous examples to all of us.”
As good a time as we had in St. Louis, I just hope the Rams won’t mind me continuing to root for Tim Tebow and our hometown Denver Broncos!