This Sunday, the 52nd edition of the Super Bowl will take place at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Patriots, who are certainly no stranger to the biggest game of the National Football League, will attempt to win their sixth Super Bowl, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots also have the most Super Bowl appearances, with 10, and a total of eight in the last 16 years. The Eagles are making their third Super Bowl appearance, with the other two in 1980 and 2004. Before the advent of the Super Bowl, the Eagles won NFL Championships in 1948, 49, and 60.
While both teams are led by Tom Brady and Carson Wentz, respectively, there are other unsung heroes on each team. Namely, five devout Christians from both the Patriots and Eagles, according to The Christian Post.
Burton is known for frequently preaching encouraging words to his colleagues, and told CBS Sports, “We do a couples Bible study every Monday night. Thursday, ideally, we do a team Bible study at the facility.” He was also recognized for binding up Satan regarding the slew of injuries on NFL players, stating, “Satan can’t control us on the field, so he’s going to try to attack us off the field, attacking us physically.”
Burton was one of a group of Eagles to rally around Eagles wide receiver Marcus Johnson, as he was baptized in a hotel swimming pool.
Nick Foles was met with an incredibly high-pressure situation during the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings. Wentz was unable to compete, and Foles came in and took charge. When he was interviewed about leading his team to the NFC Championship, Foles immediately gave honor to God for the achievement.
Foles also shared his testimony of being a part of a 15-day devotional with fellow Eagles. He stated, “I kept reading scripture, I kept praying, I kept asking God — and so many of us ask God for signs, we ask God, ‘Hey, please just put it on the wall, like, I want to know,’ but that’s not how it works. He’s not always going to do that. He was shaping me. He was bringing me down to my knees.”
Patriot wide receiver Matt Slater stated in an interview, “It’s so hard to navigate the course of the day without looking into God’s Word.” He also discussed how people should not put limits on God, because “there’s nothing too big for him.”
Nate and his wife were able to persevere through the admitted strength of God in their lives after finding out in 2015 that their son had cancer. Solder said in an article from the Billy Graham Association, “It’s Christ working through me because I know that I’m a flawed person. I’m sure they would have seen that if God had not been using me. But I’m very honored that they would say that and that they would get to see God in that way.”
Solder would humbly express in a 2017 interview with USA Today, “I have a different perspective now because I know how frail everything is, how easily it can be taken away from us. The air we breathe is precious. To be at [Super Bowl LI] is a sign that you aren’t always able to choose what you get but you get some amazing things in life.”
Patriots free safety Devin McCourty stated in a 2015 interview with the Baptist Press that he is “Striving to be rooted in God’s Word and my Christian faith gives me a great foundation to lean on daily.” He added, “Playing in the NFL or in a Super Bowl shouldn’t define a person. I don’t really think anything in this game we do defines who we are as people. It’s a blessing, it’s a great opportunity … to take advantage of the opportunity but still know who you are as a person.”
McCourty recently told CBN, “This whole journey has ups, downs, but the one thing that has been consistent is God – His love for me, His grace, His mercy continually shows His favor. I know that He has something bigger in store for me than football but I just have to stay the course, continue to keep serving Him and everything else will fall in place.”
He added, “I think one of the cool things that we talked about this year is just joy. You know I think football brings a lot of ups and downs and you can easily just ride with that roller coaster. Even today in our chapel before we came here, we talked about embracing everything, being here tonight and enjoying this process. And just being authentic, being ourselves and not being scared to be different and talk about being blessed and the opportunity to be here.”