Friday, April 18, 2008

Don Davis' Playbook: Faith and football

Former Pats player delivers message to Greenland

By Dave Choate

April 8, 2008

GREENLAND — Former New England Patriots player and current assistant coach Don Davis joined more than 500 men and boys at the Bethany Church Monday for a talk which revolved around faith and football.

A linebacker for 11 seasons in the National Football League, Davis is the assistant strength and conditioning coach and team chaplain for the Patriots. He brought his focus on being a strong and kind Christian to Greenland, mixing biblical passages and lessons with jokes and answers about the faith of NFL players, such as All-Pro Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In a speech and question-and-answer session that spanned about an hour, Davis talked about a teammate on the Patriots who partied the night before the Super Bowl, ruining his first and only chance to get into a game for the team and comparing it to the biblical example of Esau trading his birthright to Jacob for food. The lesson, he said, is for men to exercise wisdom as they go about their daily lives.

"Don't trade future blessings for temporary pleasures," he told the audience.

Davis also urged the audience to display brotherly love toward one another, noting that many males are conditioned to "suck it up" and avoid sharing feelings or struggles. He said the men in the audience should instead support and love one another in order to strengthen the bonds of their faith and answered the biblical question of, "Am I my brother's keeper?" with a resounding "yes."

Volunteers at the program also helped contribute to the sports atmosphere by launching T-shirts with Davis' name and number — 51 — from his playing days into the crowd.

Steve Aslin of Hampton said he was impressed and moved by Davis' talk.

"He's great. Just coming from St. Louis, a team that had a solid group of Christians, and becoming the Christian leader for (the Patriots) is great," Aslin said.

Davis was in town through the efforts of the New England chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The speech was part of a long-running project by the church called First Monday for Men, which brings men from Bethany and other churches together once a month for faith-based programs.

Popular Posts