ATLANTA – In 2002, the up-and-coming New England Patriots stunned the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. That win marked the beginning of the New England dynasty. Seventeen years later, the storylines are reversed. The Patriots are the powerhouse while the Rams are young and hungry as they face off in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
Much has been made about the fact that the Patriots have 38 players that have played in a Super Bowl. The Rams have four. That doesn't bother Rams Tight End Tyler Higbee. "What this team has done is a good thing, of kind of closing out that outside noise and just going, playing our game that's what we plan to do," he said.
Patriots Running Back Rex Burkhead said it boils down to "the expectations, every single day the coaches have, the players have. The ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl, so we got to move on, we got to take this approach in the best manner we can and understand our job is not done."
Still, many of these Super Bowl hopefuls tell CBN there's something more important than winning the Lombardi trophy. There'll be one winner and one loser in this. So how do these players cope with keeping things in perspective?
Some of the players in the big game talk about their love for the Bible. Video courtesy: Youversion Bible App.
These 4 Players Keep Their Focus on Faith
Patriots Tight End Dwayne Allen says, "I mean having a heavenly perspective really helps me keep things in perspective and where they should be. Like, yeah, I'm playing in this game that is the pinnacle of my athletic career, and it's supposed to be everything to me, but in the grand scheme of things, it's still a game."
Rams Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks takes it a step further.
"You know I think about Jesus Christ," he says, pointing out that before Jesus had even performed any miracles, "God said, 'This is my Son in Whom I am well pleased.' So I live in that and I rest in that because I know that's what he thinks about me. He's given me a gift to play this game, so He's done that for a reason to play at a high level to be able to give Him glory."
Use your gift for God’s Glory
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) January 31, 2019
Rams Punter Johnny Hekker says, "You know there are so many examples in the Bible where the disciples and people maybe haven't finished the race how they wanted, but God still uses that in mighty ways. So I think just finishing strong and using this to glorify God and the work He's done in my life and where He's brought me from till now has just been a crazy ride and I'm humbled and honored to be here."
And outspoken Patriots Team Captain Matthew Slater offers this advice to everyone caught up in the hype of the big game.
"This is not life and death. This is not the biggest thing that we'll do," he says. "The biggest and most important decision we'll ever make in our lives is what we do with the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And if you don't know the answer to that question it can be challenging at times. But I think for people that look at this game as the end all, be all, it's not! It's a game. We're thankful to be here, we're thankful for the opportunity. We love what we do but we have to keep perspective on the greater good!"
WATCH the CBN News Channel on Super Bowl Sunday to see special "Football Sunday" programming at 1pm, 5pm, 8pm and 11pm. You'll hear stories from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum, and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis. It's all hosted by New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, on location in New Orleans.