Each week, host Bryce Johnson interviews intriguing guests on his syndicated faith and sports radio show UNPACKIN’ it. We highlight a portion of that interview for your enjoyment and encouragement in our magazine. This issue, Bryce is joined by Scott Hanson, host of NFL RedZone and NFL Network host, who talks passionately about his faith and serving others, and not putting an exciting career first in his life. You can listen to the full interview HERE.
BRYCE JOHNSON: I know you recently got back from Russia with Orphan Outreach. I want to hear a little bit about that trip and what ended up happening while you were gone.
SCOTT HANSON: We say there is no off-season on the NFL Network, and there really isn’t, but when there is a non-playing season I have a little time in the summer to go and do some different things. I love reaching out to other people, seeing other countries and cultures, and serving other people in various ministries—especially kids. This year I went to Russia with an American organization called Orphan Outreach— a great group of people!
BRYCE JOHNSON: What exactly did you do personally and what was the impact you had there?
SCOTT HANSON: I like to be open and let the Lord do whatever He wants in my life in terms of where I might go and what I might do. I was led to go to Russia for a week and a half to love on kids with rough circumstances—to let them know someone loves them and cares about them, and there is hope. I got to tell them how Jesus changed my life and how He is available to anyone who wants to turn to Him.
BRYCE JOHNSON: Right around the corner, the NFL season starts and you will take your position as the guy I watch games with every Sunday.
SCOTT HANSON: I appreciate it man! We love doing our jobs on NFL RedZone. When Sunday morning arrives and we’re ramping up towards 1:00 Eastern time when 9, 10, 12 games are kicking off simultaneously, there is no other feeling like it and we really feel, although we’re bias, that it’s the best way to watch football. When you come to NFL RedZone there are seven hours of no commercials, every touchdown from every game, every key moment, every big hit, every great catch and every key turnover. You can see the best moments of the NFL as they happen. There’s nothing quite like that thrill ride. We love providing that service to the audience.
BRYCE JOHNSON: Before we let you go, I’d love to hear what God has been teaching you recently.
SCOTT HANSON: The Lord changed my life and continues to daily. I used to be a skeptic, quite frankly. If there’s anyone out there who says oh, it’s another one of those Jesus guys…rolling their eyes—guess what, I can relate to that. I used to be just like that. TV used to be the most important thing in my life. I’m passionate about my job, but when I lived that way and thought everything was about me and what happiness and satisfaction I could get out of life, my life spiraled down to the lowest point ever. I looked around and nothing made sense.
I was raised in a religious home, so I was at least versed enough to know that this Jesus guy claims that He changed people’s lives and still changes people’s lives today. So I started examining a little bit more, and God put some awesome guys in my life who were faithful brothers of the Lord. They answered different questions and the skepticism that I had, but it ultimately came down to me and my heart. I had to decide, and I did. I said, ‘OK, God if you really are who you say you are, if you really can take this messed-up life and do something with it, then go ahead.’ My life has never been the same since, and I am so thankful for that!
BRYCE JOHNSON: Scott we really appreciate you sharing your passion, not only every Sunday, but with us today, and being able to talk about your faith. It’s been an honor.
This column was featured in Sports Spectrum’s third issue of the 2013 summer, featuring Baylor University head coach Art Briles on the cover. Log in HERE to view the issue. Subscribe HERE to receive 12 issues of Sports Spectrum magazine a year.