As the Seattle Seahawks get ready for a prime-time game Thursday night, think about all the things it takes to create our division-leading team with a 5 and 1 record.
The coaching, the practices, the scrambling from Quarterback Russell Wilson, defense from the Legion of Boom, and all the prayers.
“I play football to glorify Jesus Christ because I was empty and alone. Jesus came and set me free. He gave me peace. He gave me joy,” says #49 Clint Gresham, the team’s long snapper.
Gresham is behind the DVDs distributed to 30,000 12th man fans after Sunday’s game – The Making of a Champion.
In his fourth season with the Seahawks, Gresham says he got an idea to make a video about his faith over the summer.
He’s among the players and two coaches who star in the 15-minute video, which was shot during training camp with the endorsement of the Hawks.
Faith hasn’t come up too much in this year’s NFL season, compared with the talk about former Broncos and Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.
Tebow’s Christian faith has been part of his appeal for supporters, and possibly a turnoff for those who think he is too open about his personal beliefs.
Now that Tebow is a free agent and not in the spotlight, there’s an opening for others who are willing to talk faith.
That includes quarterback Russell Wilson who frequently mentions his faith on Twitter, and discusses, on Gresham’s video, about when he first embraced Christianity.
“I was kind of a bad kid. I was kind of a bad kid growing up,” says Wilson as he recalled a dream he had one night when he was away at a football camp as a teen.
“I had a dream my dad passed away and that Jesus came into the room and he was basically knocking on my door saying ‘Hey you need to find out more about me.’ So that Sunday morning at church that’s when I got saved. It was June or July when I was 14 years old.”
Wilson says hard work is only a part of why he’s had success with the team, the rest is “God-given” ability.
“God’s given me this amazing talent to be able to throw the football, even though I’m only 5’11” and everybody said I couldn’t do it. Nobody can stop what God has planned for you,” says Wilson.
Wilson, Russell Okung, and Gresham financed the video production.
Gresham says part of his motivation is to be a positive role model for young people who hear so much in the news about players with DUIs or domestic abuse.
The video doesn’t mention any church in particular, but a search bar on the related website highlights locations of 30 Seattle-area churches.
12th man, we know you love the Seahawks, but how much do you want to know about the personal lives, motivations and inspirations of the players?
By LINDA THOMAS