Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl XLI, Tony Dungy & Lovie Smith

Another Super Bowl is history. After a rainy battle in Miami the Colts prevailed and most likely the Bears will be back.

Much was made of the fact that this was the first Super Bowl with African-American head coaches. In the awards ceremony when the Lombardi Trophy was presented, Colts Coach Tony Dungy acknowledged that it is a significant time in American history for both Super Bowl coaches to be African-American.

But, Dungy went on to say that he thought it more remarkable that he and Lovie Smith were both committed Christians and that they ran their respective NFL programs with Christian values. Dungy and Smith are both known for deeply caring about their players, motivating through respect and mentoring wealthy professional athletes in how to give back to the community.

I have a friend who plays for a professional baseball team who commented to me a few months ago how pro sports treats athletes like a commodity. “We’re just meat to them,” he said. Many professional coaches motivate by intimidation and are just as lost as their young players when it comes to being responsible citizens who lead solid family lives.

In a day of spoiled, entitled, crime ridden, selfish professional sports, Dungy and Smith stand out not because of their color but because of their character. Sounds a little like a “dream” espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr.

In defeat Lovie Smith said, “Of course I wanted the Bears to win the Super Bowl. But if we couldn’t win it there is no one I’d rather win it than a Tony Dungy coached team.” It’s the picture of class, graciousness, professionalism AND Christlikeness.

Hey, I’m a Seattle Seahawk fan but I would welcome another Super Bowl that matched Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith coached teams!


dmz said...

Being a diehard Bears fan, I too was impressed that God was honored yesterday. In my mind, both teams were winners because two coaches have shown the world a small flicker of what true Christianity is about. My hat off to both of them for not being afraid and stepping up to the goal and giving credit where credit was due.

One more thing -- Illinois is use to coming in second and we have a saying "There's always next year."

Anonymous said...

I’m not a sports fan but I found myself wanting to cheer on my 80-year-old dad’s team, the Colts. Looking forward to the discussions we could have I watched both the playoffs and the Super Bowl. I made long distance calls before, during half time and after the game. One of our discussions during the playoffs was about the quarterback; my dad was certain Manning had his head bowed in prayer in those final minutes. I must admit I was deeply impressed by the way the coach conducted himself on the field, a profound calmness.
Thanks for posting this story. What an inspiration both these coaches are, even to people like me who seldom get involved in the game. I knew the coaches were friends from what I’ve read in the past two weeks, but knowing they are Christians too, and the testimony he gave, that will give me something else to talk to my dad about.