By Aaron Earls
As the Super Bowl kicks off this Sunday, many of the players on the field view it as an opportunity to worship Christ.
For Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks, this is his second straight appearance in the Super Bowl, but with two different teams.
He says his faith is the biggest part of his life and “the reasons why I am where I am today with the gifts that I have.”
Last season, Cooks played for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl but left early after a concussion. Since then, he said he has prayed God would redeem that situation. Now he faces his former team in the biggest game of the season.
“I’d always pray, from that moment, to redeem me in such a way to glorify Him,” Cooks said after the Rams’ NFC Championship win. “And I think He’s doing that.”
Lord it is not by accident! You don’t make mistakes. Year later your glory shines again!
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) January 21, 2019
Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said his relationship with Christ this season has been the closest it has ever been. As he grew in his faith, Saffold and his wife decided to get baptized a few weeks ago in punter Johnny Hekker’s pool.
“We knew this was the next step, it was the next step I decided on my own to do just with my faith,” he said.
On the other sideline, several Patriot players recently spoke about their faith and how it motivates them on and off the field.
Rookie running back Sony Michel has been a big part of the Patriots returning to the Super Bowl, scoring five touchdowns in the playoffs.
Despite his football success, Michel told Sports Spectrum, “Without Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, there is none of this. We get all this glory, but the glory is not for us. It’s for Him. We do this for Him. That’s kind of my purpose. So really, none of this matters to me.”
Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater is the son of Jackie Slater, seven-time Pro Bowler for the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams.
Facing his dad’s former team on Sunday gives Slater another opportunity to continue the legacy of faith he learned from Jackie when he calls the coin toss before the Super Bowl.
Both father and son always call heads. The younger Slater said his dad told him he always called heads because it was a reminder that “Christ is always the head of my life.”
YouVersion spoke about the importance of the Bible with Saffold, Cooks, Hekker, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods of the Rams, as well as Slater, Derek Rivers and Rex Burkhead of the Patriots.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.