It’s that time of the year when every blog seems to do a Superbowl post or two – and ChurchMag is no exception! But this is something slightly different and was a real eye opener for me.
Although I am a Brit, I am also a huge NFL fan (Go Raiders!). I’ve always admired Payton Manning and the way he can seemingly dissect defenses. I’ve also always thought he ‘was a nice bloke’. However, as a Raiders fan, when he joined the Broncos – I wasn’t exactly happy! (Several ChurchMag authors are Broncos fans and let me know about it…)
But I recently read something that will make me view Payton Manning — quarterback for the Broncos — in a new light (even the Pizza adverts!).
Over on The Christian Post, they recently ran an except from Peyton’s book ‘Manning’ where he speaks openly about his faith. Something that’s important to him, but also something that he doesn’t wave about on the field. Here are a couple of my favorite parts:
Like my dad, I make it a point when I speak to groups to talk about priorities, and when it’s schoolkids, I rank those priorities as: faith, family, and education, then football. For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football. And I tell all of them that as important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth.
Football = fourth! That’s quite a testimony.
Some players get more vocal about it-the Reggie Whites, for example-and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am. Somebody sees you drinking a beer, which I do, and they think, “Hmmmm, Peyton says he’s this, that, or the other, and there he is drinking alcohol. What’s that all about?”
Christians drink beer. So do non-Christians. Christians also make mistakes, just as non-Christians do. My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven, and provides me the assurance I looked for half my life ago.
I love that last paragraph, such a simple and great way of explaining the Christian faith!
As a Raiders fan, I’d be more than happy not to see the Broncos win on Sunday, but I’d actually like to see him do well as a top football player and as a man. (And also Wes Welker, who is just about held my fantasy team together this year!)