.- Danny Abramowicz, Catholic speaker and former New Orleans Saints player, has said the Saints’ Super Bowl victory on Sunday showed they were a “team with destiny.” The family quality of Sunday’s game made it more enjoyable and showed the benefit Christian values can bring to sports, he thought.
Abramowicz, a star wide receiver for the Saints from 1967 to 1973 and an offensive coordinator for the team in the late 1990s, discussed the American football championship game in a Monday interview with CNA.
Though the saints “should have lost” the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings and yesterday faced a 10-0 deficit just “being dominated” by the Indianapolis Colts, they came back under the leadership of Drew Brees.
“They were a team with destiny,” he remarked.
In Abramowicz’s view, the decisions of Saints coach Sean Payton to make a fourth down push for the end zone and to open the third quarter with an on-side kick “took guts” and told his players “we’re out to win here.”
“I’m just so proud of the team, the coaches the players,” the former Saint said. “But I’m even more elated for the fans. They’ve waited all these years, they’ve put up with a lot of stuff.
“It’s been a long time waiting, but the city is just going crazy.”
Asked what defeat means for the Colts and their fans, Abramowicz noted that the Colts have won the Super Bowl one time already. However, it is still “tough to lose,” especially after a strong start.
“They’ll be fine. With a quarterback like Peyton [Manning], they’ll be back,” he said.
CNA asked Abramowicz his view about the relationship between sports and Catholic men’s outreach.
“We need more leaders out there in the sports arena, Christian values, guys like Drew Brees, guys like Peyton Manning,” he commented.
The latest Super Bowl had “no controversy” and had “solid men of good character.” There were not “selfish” players or commercials with poor representations of the virtues, Abramowicz thought.
“You got to enjoy the football game, you could watch the game with your son and have no problems,” he added.
“We need to take the same desire for sports and use that in our Christian outlook in life too.”
He encouraged men to start thinking about what their spiritual life means to them and then described to CNA the goals of his EWTN television show “Crossing the Goal.”
“It uses a sports format to get across issues like the virtues, like prayer, like how a man is supposed to be,” he explained.
The show examines who a “virtuous, godly man” is, whether a man is the “spiritual head of the family” and whether he “treats people right.”
“We like to joke around on there a bit. We’re not ‘holier than thou,’ we don’t have all the answers,” Abramowicz told CNA. “When we flub up I tell them to keep it in there. We laugh at our own mistakes.”
However, when it is time to discuss important issues he said the show panelists are not afraid “to do it in the correct way, to challenge men to do something.”
One segment of the show, “End Zone,” challenges men to think what they are going to do for the week, whether it is something in their prayer life or in monitoring their patience or anger.
CNA asked the retired football star to explain his 2004 book “Spiritual Workout of a Former Saint.” He said the book aimed to start men thinking by using football coaching techniques like a “game plan” for spiritual principles.
He said men should ask themselves if they are praying daily and going to Mass and confession. They should ask if Mass is “just another thing or is it something special in your life?”
Abramowicz’s show “Crossing the Goal” airs on EWTN on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time and on Friday at 9:00 p.m.