While it was a really hard way to go out, I’m very grateful for this season.
What a refreshing thing it was to be part of a championship organization — one that has won the Super Bowl before and was coming off a great year prior to this one. It felt like I was walking into an environment of winners. Every day when I went to work, I was able to feel the challenge of rising up to a certain standard. And day in and day out, we would continue to push that standard. This is truly a team that embodies the philosophy of iron sharpening iron in the realm of football.
The team itself not only has a high level of athletic ability, there is a great base of Christian men within the huddle as well. Each week there would be about 20 of us who would meet together for chapel to study God’s Word. We followed a theme in chapel this year, looking at different characters in the Bible. Each time we’d meet, we’d see how ordinary people were being used by God to do the extraordinary. Then midweek, we had a separate Bible study where we would explore the attributes of God. For me, it’s a game changer to be in a locker room with guys who I not only respect as great football players, but as Christ-followers as well.
Preparation for playoff games is a little different than regular-season ones. Yes, you stick to the routine you’ve been mastering all season long, but the excitement is much greater because you’re on a much bigger stage. The whole country is watching.
Entering into the playoffs was so exciting. Every week the stakes became higher. We worked so hard to get the first-round bye and home field advantage. At that point, you just don’t want to blow it. We knew we just had to win two games from home to make it to the big game. We knew how much this would mean to each one of us. It felt really good to win the first game, realizing we were just one game away. Then in the next game, we were only a few plays away from heading to the Super Bowl, putting so much energy into each second. But when the Rams scored for the win, it felt like the air left the building.
But I have to put it all in perspective. Of course it hurts to lose like that and you have to let yourself properly grieve such a loss. You can’t ignore those emotions. You’re sad, angry, disappointed and more. You need to allow those feelings to come, but you can’t dwell there. We had made it to the playoffs, obtained the No. 1 seed, had a 13-3 season and got to host two playoff games to boot. To have such an opportunity was a huge blessing and I’m thanking the Lord we did. Not only that, I was able to make it through the season injury-free, with the opportunity to do it all again next season.
Hopefully everyone is able to say they gave it all they had. I know I can. I put everything I could into that game. I think that’s why I have such a peace about the outcome. Sometimes things don’t end in your favor, but you have to be able to dust yourself off and keep going. At the end of the day, God is still on the throne. As long as He is there, I know I’m going to be all right. Everything works together for the good of those who love Him; I hold onto that and trust this truth. So now, I will get back up, put this season behind me and go forward, excited and ready to train for the next one.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28
— Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints linebacker
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.