<![CDATA[Sometimes I strive to entertaining or amusing, but this is neither.

It’s being reported today that James Dungy, son of Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy, was found dead in his apartment. He was 18 years old.

I bring this up because Dungy is not only the celebrated head coach of a team that’s poised to win the Super Bowl, but because he is also an outspoken Christian.

In a media-saturated sports world where flash and glitz get attention, Dungy is a rare breed. He takes opportunities to speak up about his faith, but rarely grandstands to get attention. Dungy lives in a high-pressure world, a level of competitive excellence where the slightest miscue can provoke millions of people to second-guess your every move. Yet he’s repeatedly maintained an unpopular view in the NFL — that his faith is more important than his job.

During the ensuing controversy about the Terrell Owens / Desperate Housewives Monday Night Football intro segment last fall, Tony Dungy was one of the few voices from within the NFL to voice his disapproval of the sexually suggestive vignette. Afterward, a lot of the TV and radio talking heads were quick to say that the bit wasn’t a big deal, but no one had the gall to challenge Dungy directly on his opinion, ’cause none of ’em wanted to admit that he was right.

Indy sports fans were disappointed last week when their Colts suffered their first loss on the field for the season. But Dungy is experiencing a loss exponentially more ravaging and painful. And as the news broke today, two of ESPN’s NFL columnists have already weighed in on the matter, praising Dungy for his devout faith. The sports world is watching Dungy to see how he reacts to this unfathomable tragedy.

I will pray for Tony Dungy, and if you feel so led I ask you to do the same.

Pray for the Dungy family as they sort through the difficulties of this grevious process. Pray for God’s peace and presence to be bestowed upon them. And pray that this experience would only serve to solidify his testimony and elevate his favor among the elite names in sports. ]]>

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