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New England chaplain steady amid football & baseball title runs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)–Walt Day has been on a sports ministry roller coaster this year like few chaplains ever before.

He is in Jacksonville, Fla., for his fourth Super Bowl as the New England Patriots team chaplain and was on hand last fall when the Boston Red Sox broke their 86-year World Series jinx in his role as the ball team’s chaplain.

“I don’t think anybody has ever been chaplain for a world champion baseball and football team at the same time. It’s been quite a year,” Day said.

But despite the manmade sport success, Day said he is working every day to turn the players he ministers to toward Jesus Christ.

“There really isn’t anything special about me. I’ve gotten a little publicity, but the main thing is that we had players helping players and seeking to reach other,” Day said.

The Patriots have been the center of attention in Jacksonville as they seek their third Super Bowl title in fourth years, but Day said the spiritual members of the team have another focus.

“They are a very level-headed group. I think God really wants to work though the media. You have the whole world watching this week and you have a tremendous opportunity to bring glory to God in this setting.”

Patriots defensive back Je’Rod Cherry said the Christians on the team are simply taking their cue for their spiritual coach.

“I told him a couple of weeks ago, I appreciate his dedication to our team. Anybody can show up for one or two weeks, but Walt has been here for many years, every week that we need him.”

Linebacker Don Davis said Day has had a big impact on his life spiritually and is now considering going to seminary after he retires to be able to help others.

“He’s the guy to help us. That what this team is about,” Davis said.

“We’re growing spiritually as a team,” Day said. “That’s what you’re always looking for,” Day said, speaking as a man who is a Boston off-the-field champion for any sport.

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  • Art Stricklin