YBOR CITY, Fla. (BP)–At a giant pre-Super Bowl party in an impoverished neighborhood between Tampa’s downtown and Raymond James Stadium, a different but no less festive atmosphere prevailed at an event organizers said has been 11 years in the making. The local Open Arms Church invited teams from two Florida churches, First Baptist in Dunnellon […]
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)–With high-profile athletes like the Arizona Cardinals’ Kurt Warner and University of Florida’s Tim Tebow elevating the Gospel among sports fans, believers have come to see the “big game” as an opportune time to spread the Good News. In Tampa for Super Bowl week, Bill Adams, founder of Atlanta-based Sports Fan Outreach, said […]
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)–A 200-plus-page New Testament featuring Tony Dungy was distributed the Saturday before the Super Bowl to 56,500 subscribers of the Tampa Tribune. In addition to the involvement of Dungy, who retired last year as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, the Tampa Bay Baptist Association participated in the effort along with other donors. […]
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--Two champions were crowned Sunday night in Tampa. The Pittsburgh Steelers became the most successful team of the Super Bowl era, winning their record sixth title with a last-minute, come-from-behind 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--Tony Dungy knows what it's like to be the first. He was the first boy born into a family of six, the first black head coach to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory, and the first NFL coach to defeat all 32 ...
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--The 10th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration turned into a lively, sustained tribute to recently retired Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy for his faith in Jesus Christ and his mentoring of others. "We all owe Tony a great debt because he set the bar so high for all of us coaches," said newly hired Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris, who was picked by Dungy for his first NFL job. Several of Dungy's fellow coaches and former players took time out of their busy Friday night, 48 hours before Super Bowl XLIII, to honor Dungy, whom they consider a champion on the field and off. "I am so glad to honor a great friend, a great coach and a future Hall of Famer in Tony Dungy," said Chicago head coach Lovie Smith, whose Bears lost to Dungy's Colts two years ago at Super Bowl XLI in Miami. The highlight of the evening, held at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome, came when Dungy was presented with a large framed photo of him coaching the Indianapolis Colts with the words, "2009 Lifetime of Inspiration Award." At the bottom of the picture were the words of Psalm 37:23: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way." The surprise gift brought the crowd of more than 6,000, which included Chicago-based activist Jesse Jackson, to their feet with a prolonged standing ovation. Smith said he would "do anything for Tony because he has done so much for me and my life." "I always knew I wanted to coach a different way and Tony showed us a different picture. You could coach without cursing, without shouting or losing your faith. He showed a different way and was able to win. That was the main thing," Smith said. Like many of the tributes he received while coaching and since his retirement, Dungy turned the human praise back to Jesus. "So many [NFL] players have roots in the Lord," Dungy said, "and to see them here on Friday night, 48 hours before the biggest game of the year, when all you've heard all week is game ...
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--The best of the NFL, both caught and taught, was evident at the 20th Annual Super Bowl Breakfast, where Tampa Bay running back Warrick Dunn was honored as the 2009 Bart Starr ...
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--Kurt Warner's bold witness for his faith comes as no surprise to those who have watched the NFL quarterback play for more than a decade. That's what two Super Bowls -– one as MVP in a win -– and a book or two detailing your faith will do. Still, the Arizona Cardinals signal-caller regrets not being able to share what is most important to him with more people, particularly when members of the media censor or minimize his faith in exploring his personality and his career. That's why he tries to do TV interviews with a Bible at his side and to mention God in live interviews since it can't be edited out. [QUOTE@left@150=For 'Oprah,' Kurt Warner spoke 3 sentences; the one about his faith was edited out.] But he knows the name of Jesus can make non-Christians uncomfortable with the peace that He gives in the violent and up-and-down world of professional football. Again this week in Tampa, before Super Bowl XLIII, when Baptist Press or other faith-based media organizations asked Warner non-football questions about his Christian faith, many writers would simply stop writing or filming while the quarterback gave testimony to the centrality of Jesus in his life. In an Arizona Republic story by Paola Boivin this month, Warner recounted being on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" with Masters champion Zach Johnson, another believer. Warner voiced three sentences for the brief segment, the second one about his faith. When the show aired, that sentence had been edited out. But Warner says he won't stop trying to let everyone know his career is not about touchdowns or passing yards or even a Super Bowl victory Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following are his comments to Baptist Press this week: BAPTIST PRESS: What does it mean to finally be back in the Super Bowl and on the international media stage nearly a decade after you were first here with the St. Louis Rams? KURT WARNER: I'm extremely blown away with this opportunity. It's a testimony to God's faithfulness. BP: When you see college quarterbacks like Tim Tebow with a Bible verse in his eye black or Colt McCoy taking about his faith, how does that make you feel? WARNER: Well, I have a pretty active household with seven kids so I don't get to see a lot of TV when I'm home. But I love to watch football and when I see it, I think that's great.
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--Amid the influx of visitors for Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, the Tampa Bay Baptist Association ushered in the week with "Super Evangelism" rallies to the east, north and south of Raymond James Stadium.
TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--Since becoming head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago, Mike Tomlin has talked often of his appreciation and respect for former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, who first brought him into the NFL as an assistant coach. Until this week's Super Bowl XLIII between the Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, Tomlin had never had the international platform to follow his mentor Dungy and speak about his faith in Jesus Christ. But that's exactly what he did before hundreds of reporters in Tampa. "First and foremost, I want people to know who I am and what the most important thing is in my life, my relationship with Jesus Christ," Tomlin said in response to a Baptist Press question about his personal faith. "Football is what we do; faith is who we are all the time." Tomlin, who attends Pittsburgh's Allegheny Center Alliance Church, was mentored by Dungy, who hired him as a defensive backs coach with Tampa Bay before Dungy moved on to Indianapolis. When then-Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher retired, Tomlin was ready for the promotion, stemming from his time with Dungy, leading men onto the football field and leading men's hearts off the field. "I want to lead with a servant's heart," Tomlin stated to media members who will be covering Sunday's Super Bowl. "The biggest thing I learned from Tony Dungy was an unyielding belief in his message of faith," Tomlin recalled. "It was displayed all the time with him. He was extremely consistent and that's what I want to take to maximize my faith."