.- Danny Abramowicz, Catholic speaker and former New Orleans Saints player, has said the Saintsâ Super Bowl victory on Sunday showed they were a âteam with destiny.â The family quality of Sundayâs 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 âshould have lostâ the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings and yesterday faced a 10-0 deficit just âbeing dominatedâ by the Indianapolis Colts, they came back under the leadership of Drew Brees.
âThey were a team with destiny,â he remarked.
In Abramowiczâs 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 âtook gutsâ and told his players âweâre out to win here.â
âIâm just so proud of the team, the coaches the players,â the former Saint said. âBut Iâm even more elated for the fans. Theyâve waited all these years, theyâve put up with a lot of stuff.
âItâs been a long time waiting, but the city is just going crazy.â
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 âtough to lose,â especially after a strong start.
âTheyâll be fine. With a quarterback like Peyton [Manning], theyâll be back,â he said.
CNA asked Abramowicz his view about the relationship between sports and Catholic menâs outreach.
âWe need more leaders out there in the sports arena, Christian values, guys like Drew Brees, guys like Peyton Manning,â he commented.
The latest Super Bowl had âno controversyâ and had âsolid men of good character.â There were not âselfishâ players or commercials with poor representations of the virtues, Abramowicz thought.
âYou got to enjoy the football game, you could watch the game with your son and have no problems,â he added.
âWe need to take the same desire for sports and use that in our Christian outlook in life too.â
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 âCrossing the Goal.â
âIt uses a sports format to get across issues like the virtues, like prayer, like how a man is supposed to be,â he explained.
The show examines who a âvirtuous, godly manâ is, whether a man is the âspiritual head of the familyâ and whether he âtreats people right.â
âWe like to joke around on there a bit. Weâre not âholier than thou,â we donât have all the answers,â Abramowicz told CNA. âWhen we flub up I tell them to keep it in there. We laugh at our own mistakes.â
However, when it is time to discuss important issues he said the show panelists are not afraid âto do it in the correct way, to challenge men to do something.â
One segment of the show, âEnd Zone,â 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 âSpiritual Workout of a Former Saint.â He said the book aimed to start men thinking by using football coaching techniques like a âgame planâ 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 âjust another thing or is it something special in your life?â
Abramowiczâs show âCrossing the Goalâ airs on EWTN on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time and on Friday at 9:00 p.m.