The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony

Night with NFL encourages faith in God

By Sunny Nielsen

Praying, Bible studies and giving everything to God helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XL, said Jeff Hartings, guard for the team.

Faith in God is an important aspect of the careers and daily lives of several National Football League players, said professional athlete and U alumnus Luther Ellis at a presentation on April 8 in the Union Ballroom.

“God placed us here for a reason, and for some of us it is not just to play football,” Ellis said.

Ellis was drafted by the Detroit Lions after playing for the Utes and said he found Christ during his second year in the NFL. He shared how his beliefs have helped him in his life and throughout his career.

“I feel very blessed to have been involved in this community and the NFL,” Ellis said.

Hartings, who also played professional football for Detroit, said he could relate to Ellis’ story.

“Jesus helped me with my life, my career and my marriage,” he said. “In college, the only thing that mattered to me was being picked first in the NFL draft and having a big signing bonus,” Hartings said. “I wanted the money until I realized that the material things were not making me happy.”

Ellis invited him to his first Bible study.

“I always thought God was like a rabbit’s foot-always there when you needed him,” Hartings said.

He said that he started realizing he was missing something very important in his life and that it was God.

After being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hartings and his family moved their offseason home to Salt Lake City to join Ellis in starting a new nondenominational church called “The K2 Church.”

Tony Dungy, head coach for the Indianapolis Colts, said he found God unexpectedly during training camp in his second year in the NFL.

“I got sick a few days before Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp started and the doctor told me I could not practice until I got better,” he said. “I missed three weeks of camp.”

During those weeks, Dungy said he decided to give everything to God and let him decide his future. Dungy was not cut from the Steelers and played that following season.

“People think that playing and coaching in the NFL is the best thing, but we face the same type of problems normal people do,” he said.

“I have coached for 26 years in the NFL, and I want my players to understand they need to put everything into Christ,” Dungy said.

Whitney Glick, a sophomore in exercise and sport science, said she was surprised to learn that NFL stars struggle with the same problems as regular people.

“I could relate to Luther Ellis and his speech especially since I play football at the U,” said Travis LaTendresse, a wide receiver who finished his football career this year and is a graduate student in exercise and sport science. “His speech made me realize that God plays an important role in my career and future.”

Jason Ross, a senior in business management, said the stories were inspirational.

The event was sponsored by the Campus Crusade for Christ, Wasatch Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church and Standing Together, a coalition of evangelical churches in Utah.

Christopher Peddecord

Pittsburgh Steelers center Jeff Hartings reflects on trials of faith during his time in the NFL at the Union Ballroom on Saturday night.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy here.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *