NFL Legend Reveals Powerful Way Super Bowl Will Be Used to Share Jesus
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Famed football coach Tony Dungy is known for his devotion to football as well as his character, compassion, and faith.
Listen to them on the latest episode of “Quick Start”
Dungy, a former NFL defensive back who went on to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, has also been outspoken about his biblical views and what matters most in life.
In a recent interview with CBN News, Dungy revealed the biggest lesson he believes God has taught him throughout his decades-long career in football.
“Our mother’s favorite verse in the Bible that she passed on to us was Matthew 16:26: ‘What would it profit a man if you gain the whole world, but forfeit your soul?'” he said. “And, unfortunately, I saw a lot of that in 30 years in the National Football League.”
Dungy continued, “I saw young men climb the ladder as high as you could climb, get everything that you could imagine from an earthly standpoint — acclaim, fame, money, notoriety, and look at them on the inside and say, ‘Boy, there’s something missing, and this is not good.'”
Watch Dungy explain:
The NFL legend said he didn’t want to experience the same lostness. Beyond that, Dungy wanted to prevent any players on his team from feeling such profound disconnectedness. That’s why he delivered a powerful message to every rookie who came onto his roster.
“When I got our rookie class coming in every year, I would say the same thing: ‘Enjoy the spoils of the National Football League. It’s great. Yes, you can provide for your families, your parents, you can do a lot of things, but if that’s all you’re in it for, you’re going to be in shock at the end of the day.'”
Dungy said he wanted the players to know they needed a source from which to get “real satisfaction” and said it’s “got to be spiritual.” Years later, he said former players still reach out to him to express appreciation for that guidance, explaining they didn’t always know what he meant at the time but have come to better understand the true value he encouraged them to place in the Almighty.
“Those are the letters that [are] really, really gratifying,” he said.
Dungy’s comments to CBN News came as he plans to hand out the Bart Starr Award to Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick Jr. The Bart Starr Award is given to an NFL player who “best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community.”
“It’s voted on by the players, which is very meaningful to them,” Dungy said. “It’s given to the person who shows extreme leadership, and community service.”
He described Fitzpatrick as being a man who truly fits this description.
“He was traded from the Miami Dolphins, No. 1 draft choice, played at University of Alabama, won a national championship. So, had all these accolades,” Dungy said, noting Fitzpatrick’s selection is well-deserved. “[He has] just the heart of a servant.”
Dungy said he’s been fortunate to have coached five of the men who have received the award and has, for the past decade, been among the pool of people who get to present the award to the annual winner.
He will join Athletes in Action for the Christian ministry’s 2024 Super Bowl Breakfast Feb. 10 at Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas to present the award to Fitzpatrick.
“The breakfast itself is a Gospel outreach,” Dungy said, noting there’s a presentation of biblical truth amid the celebrations surrounding the Super Bowl.
It’s an event that attracts 5,000 to 6,000 people who will hear a lot about football but, more importantly, will hear players discuss their faith.
“Player after player will talk about their relationship with the Lord, maybe how it started,” Dungy said. “There’s just been some unbelievable stories that have come through this, and it’s a Gospel outreach letting people know that Christ is the answer to a lot of our problems, and there’s always a Gospel invitation at the end.”
Find out more about the 2024 Super Bowl Breakfast here.
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