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Singletary speaks at Giants’ chapel

EDITOR’S NOTE: Art Stricklin, a sports correspondent for Baptist Press and director of ministry relations for Marketplace Ministries in Dallas, files his final report from Phoenix in his with exclusive coverage for BP readers about the spiritual side of Super Bowl XLII.

PHOENIX (BP)–The night before their historic Super Bowl upset of the New England Patriots, the New York Giants heard from Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary at their team chapel service about putting God first in all they do.

Singletary, who spoke to two dozen players and coaches at the Giants’ team hotel late Saturday, won a Super Bowl title in his one and only appearance as a member of the Chicago Bears. In an interview prior to the chapel, Singletary said he planned to tell the players that, regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl XLII, they must keep God first.

The Super Bowl, Singletary said, will be a great memory for a player, especially “because you never know when you’ll be back here again, but the real importance is that at all times people see Christ in you.”

“I remember my Super Bowl like it was yesterday, but for all the Super Bowl talk there is something more important,” Singletary said.

It was a lesson taken to heart by Giants receiver David Tyree, who caught a key touchdown pass in New York’s thrilling final quarter drive to a victory that team officials called the greatest in the Giants’ lengthy history.

“Because I’m a man of faith, I say thanks to God all things are possible with Him,” Tyree told reporters after the victory.

Singletary, who has spent the last five years as an assistant coach in the NFL, currently as assistant head coach for the San Francisco 49ers, noted to Baptist Press he also planned to tell the Giants players not to expect any Super Bowl outcome to change their eternal focus.

“Don’t expect the Super Bowl to cover over any unfinished business with God,” he said, mentioning instances when he had to come clean with his father and his wife about unconfessed sin and then found peace with God.

“Reflect God’s glory, don’t hold it yourself,” Singletary said he would be telling the Giants.

Regarding his style of dress in speaking to the team, Singletary noted, “I was going to come here in nice dress pants and a nice outfit, but I decided to come in blue jeans, because [they] have been a hard-working, blue-collar team all year long and that’s what it will take to win the Super Bowl.”

It was the first time he has ever been asked to speak at a pre-Super Bowl chapel service and he welcomed the opportunity, Singletary said.

The Giants chapel was opened in prayer by assistant coach Andre Curtis, said team chaplain George McGovern, who introduced Singletary to the players in attendance.

“Being a former player and a Super Bowl winner himself, you could tell he had real credibility with the team,” McGovern recounted after the chapel.

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  • Art Stricklin