This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday! People will be glued to the TV screen to see the most-watched program each year on American television. When I moved to America in 1980, I had to learn all about American football, as I had been brought up on rugby league in Australia. It took a while to figure it out, and I often joked with people that they play real football “down under” with no pads, no helmets. Back in the early 1970s, John Sattler, the captain of the South Sydney side, now co-owned by film star Russell Crowe, was hit by an opposing player and had his jaw broken. He then proceeded to play 80 minutes of football before being taken to the hospital (nrl.com). In rugby, you continuously play both offense and defense, and you don’t go off the field between plays. They are tough ‘down under’ or just plain crazy!I love following and watching sports, and I have been interested in observing not only the games played but also the stories about the players. So here are some stories, some old and some new.
One man who has attained his dreams is Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, who has ambitions to play in pro football until he’s 45 years old. Brady is either loved or hated. On the one hand, he appears to be a decent person, even though at times his team and coach have been at the center of controversy regarding cheating, etc. But many people don’t know another side of Tom Brady. Here is the report from Pat Robinson at CBN News.
“New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady shocked attendees at a charity event in Boston after informing the crowd his wife uses witchcraft before his games. Brady, who won his sixth Super Bowl title, told the crowd his wife is a self-proclaimed “witch.”
While getting his playoff beard shaved for charity at Gillette’s World Shaving Headquarters, Brady said: “You know I’ve learned a lot from my wife over the years.”
“She always makes a little altar for me at the game, because she just wills it so much,” Brady said in the CBS Boston video. “So she put together a little altar for me that I can bring with pictures of my kids, and I have these little special stones and healing stones and protection stones, and she has me wear this necklace, and take these drops she makes, and I say all these mantras, and I stopped questioning her a long time ago.”
As the audience laughed, Brady went on to share how he goes to his wife for predictions. “About four years ago we were playing the Seahawks and she said ‘you better listen to me, this is your year, but this is all the things you’re going to have to do to win,’ and I did all those things and by God, you know, it worked,” Brady said.
In the video, he shares his wife, famous supermodel Giselle Bundchen, told him he’s lucky he married a “good witch.”
Apparently, Bundchen’s rituals are not the only spiritual element the Bradys dabble in for success. In a New York Times interview in 2015, Brady said his family has space for multiple faiths, stating, “I think we’re into everything. I don’t know what I believe. I think there’s a belief system, I’m just not sure what it is”(cbn.com).
Obviously, it is not based on faith in Jesus Christ and the Word of God, so my prayer is that this great player, perhaps the greatest quarterback of them all, will come to know the greatest Savior of all Jesus Christ. Pray for him and his wife Giselle.
SUPER BOWL STORIES
Let me finish with some more Super Bowl stories that I wrote about over ten years ago.
Back in the fall of 2004, a good friend Tom Fox, whose father was once the president of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, invited Mark Mullaney, who was for 12 years a defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, Ron Olson, and myself to a Twins game. After the game and a visit to the local Dairy Queen, we ended up in the dorms at the University of Minnesota, where Mark’s son was a member of the Gopher football team. It was there we met a young football player from St. Louis, who had recently joined the Gophers. His nickname was ‘Kool-Aid.’ His real name Lawrence Maroney. At that stage, he was the fourth-string running back on the team, but he had a dream, a goal in life to play in the National Football League. He wrote on a piece of paper, ‘Dear Rev. Tom Fox, Please pray for me that I make it to the NFL.’ We prayed for him then and there, and guess what? He beat the odds, was selected by the New England Patriots, and went on to score the first touchdown in the 2008 Super Bowl. When I walked away from that meeting with Lawrence Maroney, I contemplated his passion and zeal. I thought, ‘Would to God that all Christians have that kind of passion to reach their God-given goals and destiny.’
Also, in the Super Bowl, that years was the New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, a born-again spirit-filled Christian who he had received a prophecy the night before the Super Bowl stating that he would have a super glue on his hands and would make ‘the big play.’ Tyree, who only caught four catches in the regular season, made a miraculous catch during the game. Tyree miraculously caught the ball on the top of his head and held onto it as he went to the ground. That play set up the next play and the winning touchdown as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots to become the Super Bowl champions.
Enjoy the Super Bowl. Go Vikings (next year will be the year)!