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New England Patriots Safety Relies on God as His Father

Devin McCourty shares how he learned to depend on God as a father after he was left fatherless at 3 years old. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: The New England Patriots' victory

over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51

was the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

And for safety Devin McCourty, it

was his second championship in three seasons with the team.

But even with all the celebration going on

around him, his mind was on other things.

DEVIN MCCOURTY: My wife was pregnant.

Probably really cutting it close, with her even

being at the Super Bowl.

And all the emotions and excitement.

But finishing, hitting a parade, getting

to hang out with the guys for a night,

then we rush home before a snowstorm.

We went to our house in New Jersey.

And we had nothing set up, no crib, no toys, no things

to sleep in, bassinets.

It turned into dad mode at home, assembling

a bunch of different things I didn't know about,

and just trying to prepare to be a father.

NARRATOR: Growing up, Devin didn't have a dad.

He and his twin brother, Jason, were

three when their father, Calvin, died from a heart attack.

That left their mother, Phyllis, to raise them and their older

brother, Larry, alone.

Most of what they knew about their dad

came through stories told by family and friends.

Our father was a basketball player.

People used to always tell us he had a nickname, cocky

[INAUDIBLE],, and he was a good basketball player.

He could do this, he could do that.

NARRATOR: But the stories were never enough

because they couldn't replace their dad physically being


Father's Day was always a tough one,

just because you always did something in school.

It was always something for Father's Day, whether it

was draw a card in class, or some type of event

that included sons and fathers.

NARRATOR: As Devin and Jason got older,

sports became a way to relate to their father.

I truly believe, like I said, when

you don't have a ton of memories but all

you keep hearing about is how great of an athlete

your father was, to me, and Jason too, sports

was our connection.

NARRATOR: Though they didn't have a dad around,

what they did have was a mom who loved them,

who even after she was injured on her job

and had to go on disability, was able to provide for them.

So I'd be lying if I said, it just felt so hard every day.

Like, honestly, growing up, my mom

made sure we had everything we needed.

NARRATOR: Most importantly, she took them to church.

And there, Devin learned to lean on God

for strength and guidance, which carried him

through high school, five years at Rutgers University,

and into the NFL in 2010.

But after three successful seasons with the Patriots,

he started depending more on himself

and less on his faith in God.

I didn't rely on it all the time.

I would say, I still felt like I had a good amount of control.

Like I can control what happened,

and God's giving me strength.

So now I got to use the strength to control and do.

This is God here, but this is me.

NARRATOR: Devin realized he needed to reconnect with God,

but didn't feel like he could.

Even going to Bible study seemed out of reach.

I was just like, man, I'm not a good enough

Christian to be in Bible study.

You thought that?

Just that guilty feeling, you know?

What behavior would warrant that?

I would go out drinking and partying.

And it wasn't like I was the worst person in the world.

But just I felt like different from everybody else

because they're perfect.

And I'm not perfect.

NARRATOR: He eventually pushed aside his guilt

and made it to a team Bible study led by the team Chaplain.

And the message was just what he needed to hear.

He's talking about that guilty feeling.

There's nothing we can do to earn the right

to be Christians and earn what Christ has done for us.

You can't earn that.

That's given to you.

That's his mercy.

And it just happened to be the day I walked in there and went.

And it was kind that I was feeling that I was lacking.

And it was like, it's right there.

NARRATOR: Devin rededicated his life to Jesus Christ,

giving him full control.

Now, with God as a top priority, Devin

learned to go to his Heavenly Father for big decisions.

Like in 2014, when he became a Free

Agent and was contemplating leaving the team.

I remember getting calls from different teams

and the money's thrown at you.

It was just like, they want you.

My agent's like, they want you.

If you're going to leave, they want you to sign now.

NARRATOR: That's when Devin began

praying about whether to stay in Foxborough,

or move on to another team and city.

I was just praying, God show me the way.

Show me what's important for my life right now.

Not just money, not just winning,

show me what's important.

And ah, the one thing that kept sticking out

was what I felt I built here.

I think that was God signaling to me, this is the place.

He was like, football's great here.

You love it.

You've been here.

He was like, let me show you the next steps of your life.

NARRATOR: Of course, he decided to stay in Foxborough.

And his choice paid off big, as he

helped the franchise win their fifth title.

Now that he's married and has a daughter,

he's got everything in perspective,

depending on God the Father to help him be the man, husband,

and father he needs to be.

I think as a father, you just look.

And it's like, it's my job the lead these two through God,

and just be the best husband and father I can be.


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