Posts tagged ‘Tony Dungy’
The images are everywhere: players pointing skyward after scoring touchdowns, teams gathering for prayer, coaches praising God following victories.
Religion has always been a part of the sports world, but its presence today is hard to ignore. Some say more athletes and coaches have been emboldened to speak out because of the rise of conservative Christianity in politics, where it has become mainstream to discuss religious beliefs.
President George W. Bush helped usher in that era, and was elected largely because of the religious right. We are seeing Christianity play a role in the Republican primaries with Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. But there is a major divide in politics that parallels a similar split in the sports world: There are those who believe God belongs everywhere, and there are those who believe God belongs only in church.
In sports, both sides of the “to preach or not to preach” question are jockeying for attention. The more we see the vulnerability of athletes and corruption in sports, the more each side feels it is necessary to speak out either for or against religion in sports. That presents a series of questions: (more…)
Source: Christian Post
A popular religious Web site named its top 12 evangelical Christians in sports this weekend in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLII between the undefeated New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
In pro-football, running back Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks, punter Hunter Smith of the Indianapolis Colts, and Colts coach Tony Dungy made beliefnet.com’s “Who’s Who” list.
Alexander, the 2005 NFL MVP, is always seen pointing to the sky after a touchdown to credit God for his success.
“Everyone has been given gifts that can be used to bring glory to God,” Alexander wrote in his 2006 memoir Touchdown Alexander. “And when we bring glory to God through the gifts He has given us, we are blessed. For me, the gift was athletic ability.” (more…)
CBS lead announcer Jim Nantz held the microphone when Indianapolis Colts Tony Dungy spoke of his faith in Jesus Christ before a national audience after winning last year’s Super Bowl.
Nantz took some heat.
“When I interviewed Tony Dungy last year at the Super Bowl, I got some flak about allowing him to talk about his personal faith,” Nantz told Baptist Press before the annual “Legends for Charity” dinner Jan. 31 in which he received the “Pat Summerall Award” for character, integrity and leadership.
“But I don’t think we should be so jaded or cynical that we don’t focus on the goodness of people and their faith,” Nantz said.
“I think Tony Dungy, like John Wooden, has a true saintly quality …. They have showed how a person can live your life the right way, to be a man’s man and to live a life to honor others.”
Nantz credited his parents and an unnamed pastor for learning how to tell a story that can inspire an audience. “There is faith in my delivery and transparency in my heart,” Nantz said of his broadcast style. “I have one voice to tell a story to help uplift others.” (more…)
Just over 25 hours before Super Bowl XXXIX got underway, players from around the NFL gathered for an awards program — and to remember the late Reggie White — at the 18th annual Athletes in Action Super Bowl breakfast.
About 1,500 fans and players turned up at the NFL headquarters hotel for the breakfast, where Buffalo cornerback Troy Vincent, in absentia, received the Bart Starr Award presented by the former Green Bay Packers legend himself.
Vincent, honored for his outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community, is the NFL Players Association president and a five-time Pro Bowl selection. He was unable to attend because of the death of his father.
Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter accepted the award for his good friend Vincent.
“I talked with Troy this morning and for players in the NFL, this is one of the awards we want to win. We want to be in this game, we want to win this award, but mainly we want to make a difference,” Carter said.
The highlight of NFL-sanctioned gathering was an emotional tribute to former Green Bay and Philadelphia defensive tackle Reggie White, a former Bart Starr award winner, who died on Dec. 26. (more…)
Super Bowl Champion Coach Tony Dungy, who announced Monday that he will continue as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, said his return is a chance to continue his ministry.
After the Colts’ loss to the San Diego Chargers in the divisional playoffs last Sunday, Dungy spent a week talking and praying with family members and friends to decide on whether he should return to football or retire.
On Monday, the deeply religious Dungy, who has published a memoir on how his Christian faith has affected him on and off the field, said he felt coaching was the best pulpit for his message. (more…)
In the penultimate paragraph of his best-selling book, “Quiet Strength,” a work whose subject matter certainly transcends the folly and fleeting stardom of sport, Tony Dungy wrote this: “I coach football. But the good I can do to glorify God along the way is my real purpose.”
For one more year at least, perhaps even a little longer than that, Dungy will continue to moonlight in those pursuits, to address with great purpose the duality of his life, and to chase both his ultimate vocation and his higher-profile avocation.
And for at least one more season we’re all the richer for it.
The former means serving his maker by bearing witness to his deep-rooted faith. The latter encompasses scratching the itch that on Monday precluded Dungy from simply walking away from the game that has been such an integral part of his life since he was persuaded by a respected educator and friend to rejoin the Parkside High School football team for his senior season, after he had quit in protest when his best friend was not elected a captain. (more…)
One of the big questions during last year’s National Football League playoffs was whether Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears would make it to the final game.
It was the stuff of headlines. After all, it would make history if two African-American head coaches reached the Super Bowl. However, both men went out of their way to stress that it was also symbolic that two devout Christians were poised to compete, as friends, on their sport’s biggest stage.
“I’m so happy for Lovie, who does things the right way, without cursing, and shows that things can be done differently,” Dungy said in a pre-game report by Baptist Press. “We give God all the credit.”
Dungy and Smith talked the talk and tried to walk the walk, while armies of mainstream journalists responded by ignoring most of the God talk.
Sportswriters never know quite what to do when athletes and coaches turn into preachers and evangelists. It’s an old tension, one that been around since the birth of what historians call “muscular Christianity” in mid-19th-century Victorian England. (more…)
As popular Sunday customs, watching the National Football League and attending church seem to go together. Players who thank Jesus for victory have almost become a cliché. At the Super Bowl last February, coaches Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears—the first African American head coaches in the big game—talked freely about their faith.
“I think it’s great that we’re able to show the world not only that African American coaches can do it, but Christian coaches can do it in a way that we still can win,” Dungy said at the time. Added Smith: “God is the center of my life. I hope I don’t have to spend my time telling my players I’m a Christian. I hope they see it in my life every day.”
With Christian players and coaches in the spotlight, some have wondered whether the NFL welcomes the image they project. Indeed, the league has made some decisions that could indicate otherwise:
- In February, the NFL sent a cease-and-desist order to an Indianapolis church that had planned a Super Bowl party.
- In the early 1990s, the league tried to discourage midfield prayer huddles after games.
- When journeyman quarterback Jon Kitna wore a cap displaying a cross after a 2004 game, the league fined him $5,000 for violating the rule that only NFL apparel can be worn during postgame interviews. (more…)
NFL Champion Coach Tony Dungy talks about his team with Fellowship for Christian Athletes.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas and gets to experience what Christmas is really all about–God expressing His love to us through His son Jesus Christ. — Tony Dungy