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.