MIAMI (BP)–Chicago Bears offensive tackle John St. Clair says he is proud to play for head coach Lovie Smith, who not only shares his faith in Christ publicly but has led his team to the Super Bowl without the need to berate or curse at his players.
“In the Book of James, it talks about controlling your tongue and Lovie has been able do all of this without cursing,” St. Clair said during the team’s media session in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLI at Dolphins Stadium in Miami.
In the world of offensive and defensive linemen, St Clair said he has heard just about every foul word there is.
“Football is a dirty game, one of the dirtiest there is, but if somebody curses me, I just take it out on them on the field,” St. Clair said. After the game, he said he’ll often seek out fellow Christians to encourage them or share a quick prayer.
“Everything we do is to the glory of God; that’s why we are here this week,” St. Clair said. “You have to trust in God –- now. We don’t know if we’re going to be here for the next game.”
Bears star wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad has been in the league 11 years but has been a Christian longer than that and appreciates the worldwide media opportunity to share his faith for Jesus Christ.
“I believe that faith should play a role in your life because to me it’s the most important thing,” Muhammad said. “I believe if Jesus Christ is not the burning question in your life every day, then you’re denying your faith.”
Muhammad said he is glad to play for a head coach who shares his faith but said he finds it vital to remind himself on a daily basis what his priority is in life — something that has nothing to do with Sunday’s Super Bowl outcome.
“My favorite verse is Romans 6 where it says I am a slave to righteousness. What I do on the field, whatever I do in my life, I am always a slave to Him.”
Another 11-year veteran for the Bears is offensive tackle Fred Miller, who also played for the Baylor Bears at the Baptist-affiliated university in Waco, Texas.
Miller said he’s grateful for this week’s platform to speak about his faith and his gratitude for God’s blessings in his life.
“We have a chance to speak a word for God this week and every week we are out here. After all He has done in our lives, how can we not? I know I am not worthy to be here.”
Seeing both Smith and Colts head coach Tony Dungy lead their teams to the top of the pro football mountain sends a powerful signal to both Christians and non-Christians alike, Miller said, noting, “Some people think Christians are just meek or weak, but these men are very strong.”
Bears offensive lineman Terrence Metcalf, whose grandfather and uncle were both ministers in Mississippi near where he grew up, said part of his team will showcase their strength just hours before the game where no outsiders can see.
“All the offensive linemen and most of the defensive linemen will always get together to pray before the game,” Metcalf said. “We don’t pray for victory or success; we pray for the health of the other guys and that God will be honored.”