Here's an article about the Braves Jeff Francoeur reflecting back on his off-season and looking forward to the upcoming season at the Braves Winter FanFest. Here's a couple of quotes:
"In this sport, it's really easy to get away from the real world," Francoeur said. "But I think you have to always come back to your roots and where you're from. To stay humble, I think you just have to remind yourself that you're just a regular person like everybody else."...
All of this success has Francoeur waiting anxiously for the start of Spring Training. Braves pitchers and catchers will report to camp on Feb. 15 and the first full-squad workout will be on Feb. 21.
"I can't wait," Francoeur said. "First and foremost, I feel the best I've ever felt spiritually. Mentally and physically, I'm in the best shape of my life."
Francoeur's maturation as a man has been a product of him getting engaged and moving into his own house over the course of the past six months. The added responsibilities combined with a renewed religious faith have him truly feeling like an adult.
"I've really become more of a man and matured a little more," Francoeur said. "So I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens."
Here's the article: http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070203&content_id=1793691&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl.
Next, an article about the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration last Friday night. Some of the NFL players there were Rams tight end Roland Williams, Saints lineman Willie Whitehead, Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, and Ravens fullback Ovie Mughelli. Also there was former quarterback Randall Cunningham, who is now a pastor in Las Vegas, Tony Dungy, and Sara White, the widow of Reggie White. The White family has recently published a book and video about Reggie and the family. Here's the article: http://www.bpsports.net/bpsports.asp?ID=5541.
Here's an article about Colts quarterback coach Jim Caldwell, NFL executive Gil Brandt, and Bears assistant coach Gill Byrd: http://www.bpsports.net/bpsports.asp?ID=5542.
Also, an article about some of the media's take on Colts owner Jim Irsay and Dungy expressing their belief in God following the Colts winning the AFC Championship. The article includes Jim Nantz, who broadcasted both the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl for CBS, Sterling Sharpe, who was a CBS commentator for both games, and James Brown, who was the CBS pre-game, half-time, and post-game anchor for both games. Here's the article: http://www.bpsports.net/bpsports.asp?ID=5544.
Here's another article on what the Colts Gary Brackett went through with the deaths of his family members. Here's a quote:
Before each game, Brackett joins the "back 7" defensive players for a time of prayer. Then he walks over to his locker and talks to his late parents and brother.
Here's the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs06/columns/story?columnist=mosley_matt&id=2752985.
Next, an article about Tony Dungy and now former Colts assistant coach Leslie Frazier, who just yesterday was hired as the defensive coordinator for the Vikings. Frazier mentions a time a few weeks after Dungy's son committed suicide that he helped a guy who was suicidal after his fiancee broke up with him. Here's a quote from the article:
Frazier has insight into the coach not just as a colleague but as someone who shares the coach's religious beliefs. When Frazier was fired from his previous job, in Cincinnati, he and Dungy prayed together.
Here's the article: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070204/SPORTS03/702040357/1100/SPORTS03.
Here's an article about Tony Dungy and Colts president Bill Polian and how they've worked well together even though they are totally opposite personalities. Here's a quote from Dungy about it:
It's been fascinating, watching Polian and Dungy, two polar opposites in terms of personality and approach, work together to form a management team that works.
"I think the Lord put us together for a reason," Dungy said. "It's kind of like a marriage where opposites attract. I think it's been very good.
"(Polian) has been good for me, to give me a little more sense of urgency, and I think I've been good for him to make him a little more patient. I think we balance off each other very well, but it's fun.
"We've had very few, if any, disputes on how we want to go, how we want to progress with the team. I think it's been a good balance."
Here's the article: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070204/COLUMNISTS01/702040409/1100/SPORTS03.
Also, an article about LSU basketball player Glen "Big Baby" Davis and how he's had to deal with his mom being a drug addict and in and out of jail: http://www.ajc.com/uga/content/sports/uga/stories/2007/02/02/0204bigbaby.html.
Here's a good article about Jeff Saturday, being the Colts center, and playing with Peyton Manning. Here's a quote:
Saturday played at North Carolina but wasn't drafted. He signed with Baltimore as a free agent in 1998 but was waived. The Colts signed him in 1999 and he's been their starting center since 2000.
His journey to the Super Bowl was much different than Manning's highly publicized path.
"The journey I've been on has definitely been God's favor," Saturday said. "I don't deserve what I have. It's been an awesome experience. I have so much fun in what I'm doing; I never envisioned it, that's for sure."
Here's the article: http://www.ajc.com/falcons/content/sports/falcons/stories/2007/02/03/0204afcafc.html.
Laslty, an article about Peyton Manning giving the team the credit when he was given his Super Bowl MVP trophy at a press conference Monday morning. That's one of the biggest things that I love about the Colts, they're a "TEAM" with a capital "T". Another thing that I liked was that the team couldn't wait to get back to Indianapolis and celebrate with the city. I don't know if any other team would have hurried back from Miami the day after the Super Bowl to ride out on open floats in 10 degree temperatures! Here's the article: http://www.colts.com/sub.cfm?page=article7&news_id=4640.