Men of Sunday: How Faith Guides the Players, Coaches & Wives of the NFL
by Curtis Eichelberger
This book is worse than bad; it’s misleading.
Where do I being with this review? The book is a mess. I’m a sports psychology consultant and constantly study up on athletes and believe me, this author is way off base with a lot of his “facts”.
To start with, I question this author’s “Christianity”. I speak a lot about sports idolatry and I feel that either the author has a bad case of this, or he is a “lukewarm” Christian.
I reviewed the Kindle version of the book and location 219 has, in the author’s words, “a common Sunday prayer”. It’s sickening, yet it’s eye opening because this reveals a problem in the Christian Church.
Eichelberger’s “prayer” states, “Dear God, please make the wind blow behind Mark Moseley’s field goals, and don’t help the defense any when they are chasing Joe today. I’ll try and be better next week.” God help the Church.
People ask me all the time, ‘Hey, you’re a sports consultant and you must be really into the NFL. Do you follow Tim Tebow?” To which I reply, “No, but I follow his God.” It’s time to let the NFL idols fall.
And just to show people that their superheroes wings are made of wax, let’s talk about the biggest misrepresentation of the book: Ray Lewis. Eichelberger promotes his “leadership style built around the tenets of Christianity and God’s teachings.” (See location 172 – 174). I couldn’t disagree more. Domestic violence, having children with different women, and murder are not the marks of a true Christian.
Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker, was implicated with two friends in the killing of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar in a street brawl. The incident took place outside Cobalt, an Atlanta nightclub, after the Super Bowl on January 30, 2000.
At the murder trial Duane Fassett, the limousine driver, backed away from his earlier statements and as a result the prosecutor’s case fell apart. Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. He was given one year’s probation and then testified against Oakley and Sweeting, who nevertheless were acquitted.
Lewis also has a history of domestic violence. In 1994 and 1995, while he was a student athlete at the University of Miami, two women, who reportedly were pregnant with his children, accused him of assaulting them. He was again accused of battering a woman in 1999.
To all the victims that must feel victimized all over again at the mention of Ray Lewis’s “good boy” articles, books or write ups, this is one reviewer who is not fooled with the masses. Shame on the author!
Another thing that I noticed is that these athletes really need guidance. I don’t think that some of them get what a Christian is. Take for example Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles. He thinks that Jesus would be a middle linebacker if he played football. I’m just blown away. The Bible says that God never changes. So that means Jesus’s mission wouldn’t change. This means that He would hardly be playing football, but “be about His Father’s business”.
To pick two good things to say about Men of Sunday, it would have to be the part on Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl championship in 2006. Dungy would pick men of character rather than the most talented players on the training camp roster. Not that’s setting an example.
The second is the chapter on temptation and Justin Tuck’s (New York Giants defensive end) warnings to rookies about women. He tells them flat out that it’s not the looks that these groupies go for; they want to get pregnant. It’s all about the money. NFL rookies should head this advice. It would save them a world of trouble and they get to keep their reputation in tack.
I received this book free from Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”