I’m not what you’d call a football fan. My “boys” (husband and son) are sport lunatics, but I’m usually content to sit downstairs while they whoop and holler (and moan and groan) during whatever season it is.

But Tony Dungy can bring me out of seclusion when his team plays.

We all became acquainted with Coach Dungy when he became coach of the Tampa Bay Buccanneers, our local NFL team. I’d never really rooted for the Bucs, but I began to hear good things about Tony. First, he was a committed Christian. Second, he encouraged his players to become involved in the community, and suddenly there were Bucs everywhere–speaking to youth groups, speaking in churches, hanging out (and being nice) at the baggage carousel at the airport. Seemed like there were fewer stories about our team’s professional athletes running down their wives and being arrested for similar unsavory activities.
I began to root for the Bucs. And became all the more impressed with Tony, the man who simply stands by the sidelines–not panicking, not swearing, not foaming at the mouth. Solid, stable, dependable.

He made a real team of the Bucs, took them to the playoffs, and almost made it to the superbowl. Because the team’s owners thought he didn’t have what it took, they fired him and gave us someone else. The next year, our team did go to the Superbowl and win . . . and I’ve always been convinced that win should have been on Dungy’s scorecard.

Tony went to Indianapolis, where he did the same thing with the Colts. Took a team, took them to the playoffs, and in two weeks he’ll take them to the superbowl. Ordinarily I wouldn’t care, but our paper has been filled with Colt stories because WE LOVE TONY! The man made an impression on everyone here. He’s been away five years, but we still love him and root for him.

When Tony lost his teenage son, Tampa mourned with him . . . and saw the deep character of a Christian who walks with God.

And what a game last night! I didn’t watch it, but I heard about the incredible come-from-behind push, the two touchdowns made by LINEMEN, and the generous way Tony deflected any and all praise. You gotta love a man like that.

So on Superbowl Sunday this year, I’ll be rooting (and praying) for the Colts. Don’t have any ties to Indiana except for a friend who lives there (Hey, Colleen!), but I’ll be rooting for Tony. If you have no ties, come on and root for the Colts!
Here’s a link to a great article on the Coach: http://www.tbo.com/sports/MGBPC3QF8XE.html?imw=Y.



  1. Dianne

    I’m with you! I’m a Dungy fan from way back – he used to play for the Steelers (not that I remember those days but my dad says so and that’s enough for me). I was a big fan when he was in Tampa, but then he moved to Indy and I always did love the Colts and Manning, so it was a match made in heaven as far as I’m concerned! I’m so excited they’re going to the big one finally!!

  2. Carrie K.

    I had already decided that the Colts were my team of choice after my precious Seahawks were knocked out – I love Peyton Manning – but now I’m more convinced that they deserve a Super Bowl win!

  3. Lynda

    I agree with you. I’m not a big football fan, but I did tune in near the end of the playoff game. I was so impressed after it was over to hear both Tony Dungy and the owner express their praise to God publically for the win. What a great testimony going out on the national airways!

    I’m thankful for athletes and other celebrities who are not afraid to testify to their faith. With all the celebrities who feel free to bombard us with their left-wing politics, it’s refreshing to hear some who proclaim the name of Christ. May their tribe increase!

  4. Cindy

    I have to buck the trend here as far as what team I’ll be cheering for–I’ve lived in the Chicago area for 27 years, and my husband and sons are die-hard Bears fans.

    That said, I have to agree with the general consensus here about Tony Dungy. My husband has a great deal of respect and admiration for Dungy. I understand that the Bears’ coach, Lovie Smith, is also a Christian, and he and Tony Dungy are very good friends.

    I’m pleased to see that two African-American coaches are taking teams to the Super Bowl for the first time, and apparently it couldn’t happen to two finer men.

  5. Angela

    We’ll forgive you, Cindy, and you’re right–Tony Dungy, as I understand it, actually hired Lovie Smith at one point. Our paper has an article today on Dungy’s “family tree,” (all the assistant coaches he has hired who have moved on to be head coaches. Good head coaches.)


  6. Southern Girl

    I’m a huge Colts fan thanks to both Peyton Manning (I’m also a UT Vols girl) and Coach Dungy. I have so much respect for both men, particularly the graciousness of Dungy. I believe he was a member of Idlewild Baptist while in Tampa, too, and that pastor is a former minister at my church in Memphis, so there’s yet another connection. I hope they go all the way, but I’m already so proud of them.

  7. Cindy

    By the way, Angie, I didn’t notice a way to Trackback to you, but I wanted you to know I mentioned and linked this post in my blog today.

  8. Catherine

    I am a big Pats fan and I was disappointed with this loss. We have stood in the way of the Colts and now Dungy, Manning and Vinatieri (who use to be with the Pats) get their turn. I must also note that the Colts would not have been in the game against the Pats if it were not for Mr. Vinatieri who in the previous game against the Ravens scored all 15 pts by field goals. Anyway, it is fun to talk football with the girls here. Even though you really were talking about the character of Coach Dungy and to that end I must say he is a good man (I just wish he wasn’t going to the Super Bowl.)
    C. the Pats fan


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