The thing I appreciated most about this year’s Super Bowl was not just that my two favorite teams were in the contest, but that these two teams both have Christian head coaches – Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith – who are known for the way they coach without using profanity or tearing players down and humiliating them. Instead they are known for the moral example they set and for building their players up through encouragement to get the best from them. They seek to demonstrate their commitment to Christ through the way they coach and how they treat their players and those they play against. That this was the most important thing to the first two black coaches to make it to a Super Bowl was very apparent in their comments leading up to and following the game. I would like to share their comments as reported in a recent WordNetDaily article. First, from an interview with Tony Dungy after the game:
Jim Nantz of CBS Sports: This is one of those moments, Tony, where there is also social significance in this victory, and to have your hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Tell me what this means to you right now.Tony Dungy: I’ll tell you what. I’m proud to be representing African-American coaches, to be the first African-American to win this. It means an awful lot to our country. But again, more than anything, I’ve said it before, Lovie Smith and I, not only the first two African-Americans, but Christian coaches showing that you can win doing it the Lord’s way. And we’re more proud of that.
And earlier in the week from an interview with Lovie Smith:
“My relationship, first, is with Jesus Christ, and he is the center of my life,” said Smith when asked about his faith earlier this week. “I try to live a Christian life. I would like for players to know my faith based on what they see on a day-to-day basis.”
It is refreshing to see such a witness these days, but it is also a lesson in the way that race relations will ultimately change for the better more than ever among Christians. For when we care more about who we are – and who others are – in Christ than for the color of our skin, we will truly see healing take place. And what a witness this can be to the unbelievers who surround us! Thanks Tony and Lovie for this important reminder.
Soli Deo Gloria!