Eagles Faith Shines A Light Of Athletic Hope
By Carla D’Addesi
The NFL, until recently, was a tax-exempt, non-profit, which had been shrouded in controversy regarding corporate tax breaks and secrecy about its inner financial working. Often regarded as an organization that promotes fame and fortune, while objectifying women, the NFL has been steeped in controversy among those who worship its very existence.
Millionaire NFL players nationwide used their fame to seek self-aggrandizing attention by kneeling, sitting and fist-raising rather than standing and respecting our American flag and National Anthem. Declining ratings and viewership by American citizens boycotting the NFL caused the horizon to appear bleak for the NFL as empty seats and poor merchandise sales reflected the annoyance felt by most NFL fans.
When out of the dark, a beacon of hope emerged in the unlikeliest of teams – The Philadelphia Eagles! “This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine,”a childhood song learned by millions of American children in religious schools or Sunday school captures the essence of today’s Philadelphia Eagles!
Courageous, proud, and bold, Philadelphia Eagles players have used their fame as a platform to express their very personal and strong faith as Christians in a time when the Main Stream Media and Hollywood elite shun the very mention of Christianity. Who would have thought that their faith would be on public display exemplifying timeless themes of the weak vs. the strong? David vs. Goliath?
Team unity and faith amongst a core group of Philadelphia Eagles players appears to be the motivation that propelled the team to NFL history, as underdogs, capturing a 2018 Super Bowl victory, 41-33 against the New England Patriots!
From Carson Wentz’s vow to play for an “Audience of One” to Marcus Johnson getting baptized in a swimming pool with Eagles’ teammates witnessing his ceremony in a Charlotte, NC hotel, the Eagles are not shy about professing their faith. Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Stefan Wisniewski, Trey Burton, Jordan Hicks and Nick Foles appeared to be in attendance at the hotel pool baptism and Christian re-birth.
Historically, the Philadelphia Eagles have boldly stood for Christ. In 1977, running back, Herb Lusk, became the first NFL player to kneel in prayer in the endzone following a touchdown. A few years later, Lusk felt a calling to become a pastor on Broad Street in North Philly.
In 1985, notable Philadelphia Eagle, Reggie White, voted by ESPN as the greatest player in Eagles’ franchise history, led Bible studies and Evangelical Christian ministries for the Eagles and the Philadelphia area.
Tim Tebow, 2015, became known for his humility and outspoken faith for the Philadelphia Eagles when he prayed in the endzone wearing John 3:16 under the black marks protecting his eyes.
I had the honor of meeting Tim Tebow’s Mom at the White House at a Pro-Life event in January, 2018. Referring to God’s guidance multiple times, Tim Tebow’s mom was an inspiration to me to continue to nurture my own children in following the narrow and sometimes unpopular path, laden with obstacles and challenges, towards Christ.
The Super Bowl LII MVP, Nick Foles, has recently announced his plans to become a pastor to high school students following his NFL career. “Unbelievable. All glory to God,” Foles said during the Super Bowl trophy presentation and MVP ceremony.
I believe this is NOT happenstance, nor coincidence but instead, divine PROVIDENCE. God’s providence is visible over our lives when we least realize it or least expect it.
Whether a football fan, Eagles fan or simply an observer of the celebrations in Philly this week, it’s hard not to smile in wonder and amazement at the strength of these young men who follow God’s calling rather than seek fame and fortune’s all too frequent rewards of “sex & drugs & rock and roll!”
Thank you for being American heroes. We all respect you. Especially our youth!
Carla D’Addesi is a well-respected author and vlogger who has appeared on Fox & Friends, OANN and CBN. She hosts ‘Your Family Matters’ which runs 7-8 a.m., Fridays 1180WFYL. She can followed on Twitter at @CarlaDaddesi and found on Facebook here.