Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, who has been outspoken about his Catholic faith, said right before the Super Bowl the “most important” role in his life is not sports, but leading his family to Christ.
“I enjoy playing football, but also I know that it will come to an end one day,” the 31-year-old athlete told the National Catholic Register. “The older I get, the more I see it is not who I am, but what I do for a job.”
Rather, Zuerlein explained, it is faith that was present before his career and it is faith that will remain long after it, too.
Prior to his marriage, the Rams player said his personal faith was his top priority, and now that he’s married, the convictions of his wife and children are his No. 1 concern.
“The most important goal of a single Catholic man is to get his soul to heaven, but the most important goal of a married Catholic man expands to getting not only his own soul to heaven, but also those of his wife and children,” he said. “It’s almost as if, as a result of the love that you share, you have one soul as a family.”
For Zuerlein, a focus on faith was second nature. He watched his parents live much the same way.
He told the Register he is “so fortunate” to have parents who take their faith seriously. From an early age, the athlete recalled, it was “made clear that certain things are required for us in order to get to heaven.”
“The church is there in so many ways for us to achieve that goal, so it is a matter of whether we want to cooperate with the grace available through the sacramental and devotional life of the church,” he said.
Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks has also been outspoken about his faith.
During a press conference ahead of the big game against the New England Patriots, Cooks said he’s “blessed and fortunate” to be playing football, giving God the credit for “such an amazing gift to play at a high level, to be on this platform.”
He described God’s grace as “the most important thing in life.”
“We’re never going to be perfect, but that’s why Jesus died on the cross for us — to die for our sins and wash us clean with His blood,” Cooks said. “I try to give Him all the glory that I can because He’s given me such a special gift.”
The Patriots won Sunday’s game against the Rams 13-3.