Summer 2024

Broadcaster James Brown honored at Emmys, knows real honor 'goes to my Lord and Savior'

Legendary broadcaster James Brown, the host of “The NFL Today” on CBS, has built an incredible career by telling the stories of others, not by making it about himself. But at Tuesday night’s 45th annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York, the spotlight shone squarely on him as he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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“I’m crystal clear that this award is absolutely not about me but the legions of people who have poured into me,” Brown, who has won three Emmys, said during his acceptance speech.

Later, Brown spoke of his approach to broadcasting: “Setting others up for success, it is a principle and I am unashamed in saying I root any principles if you will precepts in Scripture, because that’s the truth for me.”

Brown then cited verses from the Bible which he says helped mold his framework for broadcasting. He started by quoting part of Philippians 2:3 (KJV), which says, “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Following shortly after, he alluded to Ephesians 4:16 when he said, “The example of the human body is used, stating that it is made up of many different members, many different parts. And every part contributes to the fervent, effectual working of the whole body. … While I am indeed more than humbled to be honored tonight, I know that the real honor indeed goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Brown then quoted Psalm 75:6-7 as he said, “Promotion doesn’t come from the east, nor the west, nor the south. God is truly the Judge; He puts down one and He sets up another.”

The man affectionately known as “JB” has put together a broadcasting career that’s now spanned four decades, covering everything from college basketball to the NBA, the NHL and most notably the NFL. A record 11 times he’s hosted the Super Bowl pregame show, and in 2021 he was elected into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Through it all, the former Harvard basketball star has grown into an unashamed follower of Jesus, even having time to become an ordained minister. But it wasn’t always that way.

Brown has been a guest three times on the Sports Spectrum Podcast, most recently in December 2023, when he shared about his life before he knew Jesus. He said he slipped into a depression following his basketball career after failing to earn a roster spot with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. As an aimless and downtrodden 24-year-old, Brown reached a breaking point and knew he needed to turn to God.

“‘I know of You, but I don’t know You,'” Brown remembered praying to God. “‘If You will introduce Yourself to me or help me to get to know You, I will serve You.’ And I meant that.”

It didn’t come quickly for Brown, but after a 12-year process, he had become a Christian and was heavily involved at Rhema Christian Center Church in his hometown of Washington D.C., where he still resides today.

Brown has made quite the name for himself in his decorated career, but he knows his story is just one small piece in the incredible story of God’s love for His people. To know Christ and to be known by Him is the only lifetime achievement award Brown truly needs.

“If you understand that He is all about love, that God is love, and the unfathomable sacrifice made on our behalf,” Brown said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2020, “you will want to do all that pleases Him and to live a model life.”

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him. <<

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