When tuning in to the Super Bowl, visions of fierce clashes, halftime commercials and house parties often fill our heads. The last thing many would consider the event to be is a Christian outreach.
But the Christian sports ministry, Athletes in Action, uses the Super Bowl as an opportunity for sports fans to fellowship with present and former National Football League stars and to hear their stories.
The day before the New England Patriots go head-on with the New York Giants at the University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, the 2008 Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast will be held in Phoenix and simulcasted to churches across the nation.
It is now one of the premier events held during Super Bowl week.
I Didn't Know He Was a Christian
If you're a football fan, you're likely to recognize more than a few of the NFL stars showing up for the 21st annual Super Bowl Breakfast.
It will feature personal faith testimonies and life stories of stars from both Super Bowl teams, as well as Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr, Cincinnati Bengals Hall of Fame Tackle Anthony Munoz and Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy.
Emceeing the event will be former San Francisco 49'ers all-pro tight end and three-time Super Bowl champion Brent Jones, who will be on hand for the presentation of the annual Bart Starr award. The honor will go to the current NFL player selected by his peers who "exemplifies outstanding character and leadership on and off the field, in his home and in the community."
This year's finalists are Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomilson and Chicago Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad.
Former and current NFL players receiving the award, who served as positive role models to their families, teammates and communities over the past years, have been the Packers' Reggie White, the Patriots'/Jets' Curtis Martin, the Seahawks' Steve Largent, the Bears' Mike Singletary, the Vikings' Cris Carter, the Bengals' Anthony Munoz, the Redskins' Darrell Green and the Buccaneers' Derrick Brooks.
You Don't Have to Be in Phoenix
If you're not planning to travel to the Southwest at the time of Super Bowl XLII, you don't have to miss out on the powerful event.
It takes place on Saturday, February 2 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. MST at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, but men from across the nation can take part in the celebration of faith, too.
Annually attracting more than 2,000 to the actual event, the NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast will also be a 90-minute live simulcast. Downloadable promotional materials are available.
Churches are invited to host the event, and help with planning and preparation can be obtained by clicking here.
For those who are unable to participate in the event, the Super Bowl Breakfast is also available on DVD.
Athletes in Action is partnering with SER Media and Church Communication to bring America this year's event, which is co-chaired by Phoenix Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo and Mike Ingram, president of El Dorado Holdings, Inc.
The breakfast is one of the four Athletes in Action Sports Legend Series events, which include the NBA All-Star Weekend, Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast and Night of Champions. They are all held to honor athletes and coaches who model exemplary character, values, integrity and faith.
Sources: Athletes in Action, CBN News