Football and Faith
|AP Player of the Year Marcus Mariota|
There’s something special about the Oregon Duck’s quarterbacks. Five exceptional players are on the starting rotation, but Marcus Mariota has claimed the fame and spotlight. Yet Mariota says that he shares something with his fellow quarterbacks—something more important than football or fame.
Scott Frost, the Duck’s quarterback coach describes the five athletes as good players, but great people. They support and encourage one another and aren’t concerned with who has the starting spot. He says that it “stems from the fact that they have faith in Christ.”
In December, Mariota was honored as the 2014 Heisman winner—the first time in Oregon’s history. With that honor comes a future in football, but Mariota brings more than talent to the game. According to Les Steckel, President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,
“Marcus is a force on the football field and a force for Jesus Christ. His passion for the game matches his passion for his convictions, and it is wonderful to see him live out his faith both on and off the field. He is certainly an inspiration for many young athletes.”
So how does Mariota apply his faith to football?
“When things start to get rough, you find comfort in your faith. Knowing that no matter what, you can dust yourself off and be OK. And you know you do it for God’s glory. You do it for your teammates, your family, but also for His glory and to represent His name.”
Mariota and his team will face off against Ohio State for the National Championship. While this will be a super competitive match-up, Mariota and his fellow quarterbacks are listening to Coach Frost:
“Even if you’re competing for a national title and you lose a game, if you’re all in for God first, then your foundation is on the rock, and you’re not going to be shaken.”
With that perspective, Oregon and Mariota really can’t lose.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4
Photo Credits: David Zalubowski/AP, Brian Bahr, and Getty Images