NFL players provided the subtext about faith and football between gospel songs such as "Souled Out'' sung by Hezekiah Walker, "God in Me'' by Mary Mary, "Never Would Have Made It'' by Marvin Sapp, and "Trust In You'' by Donnie McClurkin during the 10th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.
A selection by the NFL All-Star Players Choir was the highlight of the program, recorded Friday night in Tampa and which aired on ESPN Classic today. Begun 10 years ago, the gospel celebration is a vehicle for NFL players to publicly show how they carry their faith on and off the football field.
Giants' David Tyree talked about how his struggle with drugs drew him to his Christian faith. He spoke of periods of suffering and a process of purifying that led him to shine in his role as a football player and a person of faith.
Ravens' Ray Lewis related a story about his encouraging words to his teammates during a football game. "Have you forgot you who got you here. Pressure that comes in your life is to make you grow,'' he told the audience.
In another clip from the show, Lewis told the audience that "We are going to stomp. We are going to praise. And we are going to do it all night'' during the gospel celebration.
Host Mischelle Turner interviewed NFL players such as Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears, Clifton Smith of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jon Kitna of the Detroit Lions and many others to fill the hour with stories of faith.
ESPN analyst Shaun King, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Raheem Morris and Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith honored former Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy for his more than 30 years in the NFL. Dungy is the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl. Those honoring him said he was a model coach who used his faith to quietly motivate his players.