On September 10, 2007, as the NFL regular season was kicking off, David Tyree wrote his teammates on the New York Giants a letter. In it, he urged players to work harder, turn to God for guidance, and “come together to believe the Lord for the quick recovery of this football team, to remove this dark cloud, and to win a championship.” Just a few months later, they shocked the undefeated Patriots and much of the football world by doing just that—winning a championship—thanks in large part to Tyree's catch that will go down in history as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in Super Bowl history. Here is that letter in full, which would mark Tyree's first real step into player development:
Sept 10. 2007
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To my teammates and peers,
For many of the years I have been with this team, I have had the desire to reach out to my teammates and coaches in such a manner as this. Fear of what others think and would say has choked those efforts, but all of that is over! Last night for the first time in my 5 years I watched a NYG football game on the television, and never have I had so much anxiety and desire to see you all do well. First I must say I am proud of everyone associated with that game last night, and I can’t wait to get back out there physically to go to war with you! Truly this isn’t about last night in that respect.
There are various ways of leadership, and I know the Lord has called me to be a spiritual leader and example on this football team. For many who know me and others who do not, I consider myself a devout believer or Christian who simply loves the Lord and desires for His will to be done in our lives. This is truly in no way an attack on anyone’s lifestyle, faith, or spiritual maturity—only an invitation to those who are willing to fight for the faith as we fight on the field.
In a few short weeks I have watched injuries and press speculation try to dictate the destiny of this NYG football team. As I got the report on my unexpected fracture, the Lord really gave me understanding on some things. Simply, since I have been here we have sustained and innumerable amount of injuries that really challenges our faith and ability to be successful each year. Then last night I hear our good friend (Ha) Tiki Barber say, “It’s like someone has a voodoo doll and is breaking down this NYG football team.” That truly struck a chord with me.
If you believe in God, then that means you believe in spiritual things. I’m not saying someone literally has a voodoo doll, but there is a spiritual dark cloud over this football team, and it’s time to deal with it! The amount of injured reserves and other injuries have been ridiculous, and I just don’t believe in bad luck. I believe God truly wants to do great things with this football team, but just like anything else, it takes a level of commitment and, more importantly, faith. Faith does not operate on what your eyes can see, but only on what the Lord is able to do. In order for true victory, we must come together to believe the Lord for the quick recovery of this football team, to remove this dark cloud, and to win a championship.
I charge you all with this! If we can really put our trust in the Lord for something that is dear to our heart as this game is, I believe He will deliver. More importantly, this can be a stepping-stone to other important issues the Lord may want to deal with in our personal lives. Last year’s World Championship is the latest example of this. Tony Dungy set the standard. His steadfast faith in Christ despite so many obstacles along the way inspired many to put their faith in something other than themselves. Now it’s our turn!
This is a wake-up call, but also this is a battle cry for this team to come together, trust God first, and then put our gifts to the test. We are already closer than any team I can remember since I’ve been here. I believe this to be the last and important piece of the puzzle. We still have to strap up and go to war on that field, and we still have to prepare for our success. There is nothing like having the assurance that you did everything in your power to succeed. So let’s do it!!
Here are two scriptures that are the heartbeat of what I believe for this football team this year:
“Jesus looked at them, and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matt. 19:26).
“How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had surrendered them?” (Deut. 32:30). This verse declares with the say-so of the Lord that we can come together and multiply our efforts significantly. One can chase a thousand, two can chase ten thousand—imagine what 53 can do!
MONDAY SEPT 17 WILL BE THE FIRST TEAM FELLOWSHIP/BIBLE STUDY AT MY HOUSE @ 7:30 PM. MORE DETAILS WILL FOLLOW.
Especially those who are followers of Christ and have attribute every ounce of goodness to him, I pray this challenges you where you are in your relationship and stirs up a new level of commitment. God will not settle for second place or less.
1st THINGS 1st
Thank you all who took the few moments to hear my heart.
I’m here for all of you. I’m honored when someone asks me to pray with or for them.