I am a huge Anaheim Angels fan (I refuse to use the Los Angeles part of the name, Anaheim is not L.A.) and I remember watching Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez (Now with the New York Mets) thank God after each and every save that wound up giving him a record 62 Saves on the season. It always put a smile on my face, and gave me a sense of connection with Frankie.
Pointing skyward after a great play, or a team huddling in prayer after a game, or a player beginning an interview after a big win with the words, "First, I'd like to thank God," is nothing new. There have been many players that have been vocal about their faith throughout the history of modern sports. However, as we proceed to the end of the first decade of the new century, it seems as if the media is turning the cameras away from such professions of faith - and it is never a news item anymore.
In football, one of the players most outspoken about his Christian faith, is Quarterback Kurt Warner.
Warner originally exploded onto the NFL scene after a short career in Arena Football with the Iowa Barnstormers. When he joined the Rams he wound up leading the team to a Super Bowl, and thanking God every step of the way. Faith is at the core of Warner's life, and he takes every opportunity he can to proclaim such.
Kurt Warner's career after the Rams, as the quarterback aged, seemed to be winding down, and Warner was playing back-up a lot more than starter. Then his chance came to revive his career with the Arizona Cardinals, and he has now taken the Cards to the NFC Championship Game.
As a result of his resurgence, he was asked to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show. While on the show he was given three sentences he could say, so in the middle one he made sure his faith was mentioned. Later, when he watched the show on replay, he realized that they cut it out!
It is a sad state of affairs when we see this kind of action by the media. After all, telling Kurt's story without God is to ignore what drives him.
Warner accepted the Lord after his wife became a Christian. After he accused her of picking and choosing what to believe in the Bible, he studied the Scripture in order to prove her faith wrong. When he began to learn the Bible in the proper context, and studied its various interconnections, he was left with no alternative but to become a follower of Christ.
Kurt, keep praising God. You are a sterling example for the rest of us.