Ex-Redskins QB Schroeder discusses football, faith
Jay Schroeder twisted the Super Bowl ring on his right ring finger, a hunk of gold and diamond as large as a swollen knuckle, then turned his eyes up toward the roomful of men sitting in front of him.
“It doesn’t mean a thing,” Schroeder said. “It doesn’t mean a thing.”
Schroeder, who talked for about one hour Saturday night to a men’s ministry group at Northside Community Church about football and Christianity, earned the ring after the Washington Redskins knocked off the Denver Broncos, 42-10, in Super Bowl XXII. Schroeder started 10 games during that regular season and passed for more than 1,800 yards but he fired only one pass during the game that can define careers.
Not that Schroeder cares too much about all that now.
“That’s what I did,” he said. “That’s not who I am.”
Who Schroeder is today is a teacher and a football coach, a father and a Christian speaker. He lives with his family in Saint George, Utah, where he works at various high schools and with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
But he works with a speakers bureau and travels the nation between 45 and 60 days each year to talk with church groups.
That is what brought him to Rocky Mount for a day on the golf course with new friends and a night in front of a captive audience.
Schroeder walked back and forth in a small circle on the low, carpeted stage, his hands in front of him, his easy steps belying the fact he played 10 seasons in the NFL.
He talked about his high school, college and professional sports career for about 25 minutes, then turned to religion.
“What’s our purpose,” he asked. “To have fun and play games?” Schroeder paused and shook his head. “That’s not our purpose.”
Schroeder walked – and sprinted and passed – down a long road to reach the position he is in today.
He played baseball and football during high school in California – where he played with future Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and against future Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and New York Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry – then played football at UCLA.
But baseball called Schroeder away from college. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted him third overall in the 1979 MLB First-Year Player Draft, and he played four seasons in the minor leagues. He almost reached the Majors. Scouts said he had one heck of a right arm.
In 1984, a minister talked with him and opened his eyes. He opened his heart. And an old college coach helped open the doors to the NFL. Schroeder said he would do whatever God wanted. Turns out, God wanted him in the NFL. And now, working with people around the country.