When people say the words “Football Sunday,” they often mean the handful of games played throughout the NFL season. But in 2018, NFL players will give it a different meaning.
“Football Sunday” is a “free resource for churches to provide their people with an inside look at faith in the NFL in a way that’s relatable to all.” Notable players— including Matt Forte, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, and Zach Ertz— have all lent the story of their faith to the mission.
During the media day leading up to Super Bowl LII, Philadephia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz explained that he wasn’t always a man of God, but he “always knew who Jesus was”:
Ertz elaborated that he didn’t have the relationship with God that he does now until last year. He said:
“Last year, I was kind of going through some things. During the season, I would always be really high if I had a great game or really low if we lost and I had a bad game. I would see guys in the locker room like Carson, Trey Burton, Jordan Hicks, Jordan Matthews (when he was on the team) that would always remain even-keeled and I was pretty much envious of them. So, they kind of continued to push me in ways to grow in my faith.”
Ertz added that he truly dedicated his life to God when he got baptized this past March before his wedding, calling that moment the “best thing that ever happened.”
The 27-year-old football player, who married United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) star Julie Johnston, continued that it’s an honor to use his platform to spread the Bible’s message. He explained:
“Our number one goal on this earth is to make disciples that’s the only job that we want to do, so faith and football this Sunday is huge is huge. This is a platform that we have to draw people to the word, to Jesus, it’s something that we do not take for granted by any means. It’s obviously a responsibility, but we love that. We want to draw people to Christ, the “Football Sunday” thing is going to be great for the world hopefully.”
Ertz told the media that the foundation of his marriage to Julie is built on the Word, adding that “any time you’re able to build something with that strong foundation you’re not going to be easily swayed.”Zach Ertz/Instagram
And that’s something both he and Julie strive for, the Tampa Bay Times reports:
“The distance that we have to work through is extremely difficult. It can pull you in ways that are extremely tough, or it’s extremely strenuous on our relationship. So being able to be rooted in the Word and hold each other accountable to something much bigger than the two of us, allows us to have an incredible marriage.”
Ertz then thanked his teammates for using their faith to hold him accountable— especially when things get crazy, like playing in and eventually winning a Super Bowl.
You can watch the full episode of this year’s “Football Sunday” below: