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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  1. Stephen Burke says:

    The players like arr, Warner, Deion Sanders, Tyree, a lot of the Packers, Brady, Dungy, are great role models, and it is great to see it….my hats of to them all and Tebow, as well as. those whom I don't know of, are a blessing to a sport troubled.

  2. Carla says:

    Thank you for bringing athletes and FAITH together … showing our young people especially.. to be Proud OF YOUR GOD … That you SHINE because of him … that these star athletes SHINE because of their strong rooted FAITH!!! AWESOME job “SOLD OUT”

  3. Joe M. says:

    Win or Lose come Super Bowl Sunday, these guys are in it for the ultimate victory, off the field. These are the interviews many of us never get to hear, the plan and purpose, and the blessing that come from God.

  4. Doug says:

    I love football, But to play on Gods team is the greatest glory you can have. God has the winning team and will be victorious in the end!I love you Jesus!

  5. Roy says:

    It is great how God is using “the media” to share how Jesus has made such a difference in people's lives as they pursue playing football. The days is coming soon that every knee will bow and every tongue WILL confess, that Jesus Christ is LORD of all

  6. Jimmy says:

    Its good to see these men giving god the glory he deserves.

  7. Julie says:

    I am an Australian, and I love this country, but I also love the way the Americans can be so open about their faith and where their ability comes from and who to give glory to, so the whole world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord, God Bless

  8. David says:

    Billy Graham has been an inspiration to me all of my life, and I am so thankful that he has allowed God to use him in such a big way to touch our generation.

  9. joe d. says:

    I am so proud that that these great athletes are men of God and are not ashamed of it. Our young need this kind of examples to base their lives on.