Summer 2024

Matt Millen: The 'sovereign power' of God is what gives me peace

If you’ve followed Matt Millen’s career since his days as a four-time Super Bowl champion linebacker, you know he’s encountered plenty of rocky roads.

As a player, he was not only a Pro Bowler but a renowned instigator. After retiring, he was president of the Detroit Lions from 2001-07. And during those seven seasons, the Lions posted what was then the third worst seven-year stretch in NFL history, fans famously calling for his dismissal for years. Now, at age 60, Millen is on his rockiest road yet, battling amyloidosis, a disease that could claim his life if he doesn’t get a heart transplant.

Through every valley of life, however, Millen has turned to his faith for guidance.

Peter King previously noted for Sports Illustrated that the ex-Lions executive clings dearly to Matthew 7:13-14:

“Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life. And only a few find it.”

It’s a passage Millen said he wanted to model for his kids, encouraging them to “take the right and the righteous path, not the popular path.”

And now, as he presses forward in peaceful surrender to however his health unfolds, Millen has reaffirmed God’s importance to his journey. As told by Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei:

He started accepting the Bible as the written word of God during his college days. These days, he is a deacon at Cornerstone Church in Easton. His faith has guided him through life’s changes and challenges. And it guides him today …

“Why am I at peace?” Millen asks. “I know I can’t control it. Something bigger than me is in control. I’ve lived my life that way for a long, long time. I believe there is a sovereign power, and you get what you get.”

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