Like many athletes who are outspoken about something as personal as faith, [Lions QB Jon] Kitna—with his ubiquitous cross hats and constant biblical references—is often dismissed as a loon. But his impact in Detroit is undeniable. He is part of a team prayer group on Friday afternoons and hosts a Bible study for teammates and their wives at his home on Monday nights.
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By combining two of the most fervent elements of society—faith and football—a previously anonymous journeyman quarterback has catapulted himself into the zeitgeist.
âPeople feel football is too trivial for God to care about, especially with so many bad things happening in the world,â says Tim Pitcher, a spokesman for Athletes in Action, which uses sports to push Christianity. âFor a lot of people, the worlds shouldnât mix.â
Yet they do, sometimes with uncomfortable results. After the Colts won the Super Bowl last February, Tony Dungy asked his team to kneel and recite the Lordâs Prayer.
While everyone complied, several players looked at each other in disbelief at the request, which forced them to interrupt their celebrations and interviews. To reporters in the room, the moment appeared awkward and forced.