This year's Super Bowl head coaches will appear in a newspaper ad not for their making it to the marquee game, but for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Indianapolis Colts' coach Tony Dungy, who has long articulated his faith, and Chicago Bears' Lovie Smith, who just budded into the NFL scene as head coach, will be on a full-page ad in USA Today on Friday. In the ad, the two coaches will say that while they may attain the height of their profession with a Super Bowl victory, their faith in Jesus Christ is still more important, according to Baptist Press.
Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), one of the largest campus ministries in the world, is paying to run the advertisement days before the Colts and the Bears face off on Sunday.
With two men of faith squaring off at Super Bowl XLI, the campus ministry has had more opportunity than previous years to bring faith into play during America's biggest game this year. The advertisement will feature a photo of the coaches taken at the Super Bowl venue – Dolphin stadium – and the website address and phone number for CCC.
Although Dungy and Smith have made headlines as the first black coaches to reach the NFL championship game, the two coaches have a close friendship that the Miami Herald reported "stems from ... their convictions" as devout Christians. And both, the Herald noted, do not drink or curse, even when at the sidelines of a big game.
"I'm so happy that Lovie got [to the Super Bowl] because he does things the right way," said Dungy, according to the Miami Herald. "He's going to get there with a lot of class, no profanity, no intimidation, but just helping his guys play the best that they can.
"That's the way I try to do it, and I think it's great that we're able to show the world not only that African-American coaches can do it, but Christian coaches can do it in a way that, you know, we can still win.''
The Sunday before leaving for Miami, Dungy spent the day at his home church, Northside New Era Baptist Church, prepping for the big game.
"We could not let this get by without your Christian family saying, 'God bless you. We're proud of you,'" said the Rev. Clarence C. Moore, according to NBC5, a Chicago news channel.
"I believe he preached the greatest sermon without saying a word by walking in and giving God time before the biggest game of his," added Moore. "That's who he is and he expects that of the people around him."
Dungy will also be headlining the annual Super Bowl Breakfast, hosted by CCC's Athletes in Action, on Saturday. He was also keynote speaker for the event last year.