By James Meredith
Jan. 27, 2013
It’s a word you cannot escape when looking at the rich heritage of the NFL.
Most football fans, regardless of their allegiances, respect the impact of the all-time greats. A few names stand out.
Younger fans remember Deion Sanders disrupting opposing offenses as one of the most dynamic and charismatic players in league history. Others recall Walter Payton running roughshod over opposing defenses as the dominant back of the 1980s. A few of us vividly recall Raymond Berry lifting the NFL onto the national stage with his performance in the 1958 championship game.
Great coaches have left a similar impact: Tony Dungy overcoming unimaginable adversity to lead the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI. And Tom Landry building a dynasty in Dallas.
But these men have also built a far greater legacy — one that will endure when the NFL has long since passed into the annals of history. They’ve established a legacy of faith in Jesus Christ.
That’s why, since 1996, the Pentecostal Evangel Super Bowl Outreach Edition has featured their stories and profiles, along with those of many other Christian players. They’ve captured our imagination on the field. And more importantly, they’ve inspired us with their focus on Christ.
But these powerful testimonies over the years have also provided us with a critical reminder: Every follower of Christ is building a legacy. Through lives that reflect the love and character of Christ, a needy world learns that there is hope beyond their circumstances.
Pursuit of this legacy places us all on the same playing field — whether we possess amazing athletic skills or have never laced up a pair of cleats. And victory isn’t measured by trophies and rings. It’s seen in men and women discovering that true life is more than just a game. And in kids raised to reject the emptiness of a life focused on self, and instead follow the ways of the Lord.
In this issue you’ll find stories of football greats committed to building legacies that endure. As you read, take a moment to think about the legacy you are building.
— James Meredith
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