Friday, February 9, 2007

More Thoughts about the Super Bowl by Dr. Jim Savage

We all remember how the early disciples shared their faith story in ‘The Book of Acts’. Most of them gave their lives because they were witnesses for Christ. I had heard recently that Coach Tony Dungy and Coach Lovie Smith were both Christians. I was surprised when Coach Dungy gave a quick but powerful witness on national television after the Super Bowl while everyone was still watching and celebrating. I did not know at that time that several stories were taking place about his faith.

One report stated that Coach Dungy walked into the locker room and all of the players knelt for prayer. It seems that even the players that are not Christians still respect their coach very much, and participate out of respect for him. Other players have shared the profound impact Coach Dungy and Coach Smith have had on the lives of many people.

Another report stated that Coach Dungy gets their attention without the use of any profanity. Another report quoted several statements by Coach Dungy that were made at a breakfast that sounded similar to his words that were live and on camera. It states Coach Dungy saying: “I’m very proud to be the first African American head coach in the Super Bowl along with my friend Lovie Smith,”… “but more than that the fact you have two Christian coaches who show you can do things a different way.”
“You have (two) coaches who have firm Christian values, and the country and the world need to see that this week,” Dungy said. “I’m more proud of that than anything else.”

Coach Dungy became the first head coach to actually change his schedule so that he could attend a breakfast that week that was sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ. “We usually have special team practice and meeting that day before a game,” Dungy said, “but because I’m the boss, I can set the schedule. So we just pushed everything back today to be here.”
A local name was mentioned also. They give an award each year named for Hoover resident and prior NFL player and Coach Bart Star. This year the prestigious Bart Star Award went to Denver Broncos safety John Lynch for his longtime excellence on and off the field, but a great highlight of the programs was the appearance by Coach Dungy and his wife Lauren. Dungy was planning to bring 65 of his players but a miscommunication with the buses caused them to transport 20 players. But that was still the largest appearance of Super Bowl players in the history of the breakfast.

It seems you can be a successful coach without using profanity after all. It seems you can be a successful coach and be a great witness for Jesus Christ. It seems you can be a successful coach and be a great role model for your players, and even the teenagers of our nation. Thank God!

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