Football and Faith at Super Bowl

By   •   February 3, 2012

Admittedly, David Carr‘s NFL career hasn’t been chock full of highlights.

But at the Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday, the former first-round NFL draft pick who went 15-53 as the Houston Texans starter before spending the last four years as a backup, talked about one of the biggest highlight reels that runs in his mind:

Meeting Billy Graham.

“The two hours I got to spend with Billy Graham was the highlight of my life really,” Carr said. “It’s something I’ll remember the rest of my life.”

Carr and other players and coaches were interviewed by Roman Gabriel III of Sold Out Youth Ministries this week in Indianapolis.

Below you’ll hear many sound bites about how football and faith intersect.

Despite mostly holding a clipboard the past four years — three of them as backup to the Giants’ Eli Manning — David Carr has had a unique opportunity to share about his faith on the game’s biggest stage.

And Carr is just one Manning injury away from suddenly being in the biggest game of his life. Regardless of what happens Sunday, he’s not about to take his unique platform to share Christ for granted.

“My grandfather said it well,” he said. “Make sure that your life is an example that’s worth testifying with. It’s something that’s stuck with me.”

Kurt Warner has played in three Super Bowls, two with the St. Louis Rams and once with the Arizona Cardinals. Warner may end up in the Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl winner, but he’s also strived to live his life as a follower of Christ.

Warner shared how Billy Graham’s character is what has impressed him the most through the years.

ESPN’s NFL commentator Chris Mortensen talks about how he appreciates how Billy Graham never deviated from the Gospel message. He also shared how Mr. Graham’s ministry affected him as a child, planting seeds of the Gospel.

Patriots wide receiver/special team’s player Matthew Slater shares about how important a relationship with Christ is in your life and encourages others to “get to know Christ. He wants to have a relationship with you.”

One of Tony Dungy‘s lasting memories is undoubtedly winning the 2007 Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts. But another meaningful moment had nothing to do with football, despite being in an NFL stadium.

Dungy shared one of his fondest Billy Graham memories this week at Media Day.

“I remember the first event we had at Raymond James Stadium (in Tampa) was the Billy Graham Crusade. I got the opportunity to introduce him,” said Dungy, coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the time. “A memory I’ll never forget.”

Tony Dungy, an outspoken Christian, has been a long admirer of Mr. Graham, specifically his focus on spreading the Gospel.

“I think with Dr. Graham, his only thought is ‘I’m advancing the cause of Christ,'” Dungy said. “‘I’m telling other people about Jesus.'”

When it comes to faith and football, no one in the NFL has been more directly in the spotlight than Tim Tebow. The Broncos quarterback, who took over a 1-4 team and led them to the playoffs, helped pull off one of the biggest playoff upsets in recent memory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tebow threw for 316 yards that game and averaged 31.6 yards per completion, leading to John 3:16 becoming one of the most popular search topics online the following week.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Search for Jesus ministry created a specific Internet Evangelism landing page that drew over 10,000 hits to and 200 indicated decisions for Christ.

“My hats off to him,” said Giants defensive end Chris Canty, “to be able to stand on that platform and give all the glory for his performance and really be a true warrior for Christ.”

Watch a Super Bowl preview and how players’ faith in Christ impacts their perspective of the big game.

Giants secondary coach David Merritt talks more about the Tim Tebow imapct this season.

Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon talked about how his faith impacted his fight with cancer.

Super Bowl XLVI footage courtesy Sold Out TV.

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