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Power To Win
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Surrender. Giving up your entire life. These are the keys to success according to football stars Antwaan Randle El and Jeff Hartings. Both players helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XL in 2006. Surely they know what it takes to be successful. But the success Randle El and Hartings speak about, the success most important to them is not for the football field-it's for life.
When there's a shiny Super Bowl on your finger, it's easy to let things get out of perspective. Hartings admits there were big temptations after winning. "There are a lot more chances to soak in your own glory," he says. But he and his Christian teammate both realize this as Satan's attempt to distract them from where their focus should be. Randle El said his priority is keeping his heart on "Kingdom business," which means accepting the responsibility to be a witness for the Lord.
While these two certainly have goals set for their athletic careers, they continuously set spiritual goals, as well. Randle El wants to grow the weekly Bible studies with his teammates; Hartings aims to read through the Bible in a year. Their eyes are on a greater prize than any Super Bowl victory.
First Name By Letter
Or By Name
TEBOW / MCCOY
As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.
Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.
An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."
Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."
Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."
The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.
The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?