The Super Bowl LI matchup between New England and Atlanta made game-day opponents out of two dear Christian friends.
Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco was on the opposite sideline from the man who mentored him and officiated his wedding—Patriots team chaplain Jack Easterby.
“He’s been monumental in my walk with Christ,” DiMarco said of Easterby, who was the chaplain at the University of South Carolina when DiMarco played there.
DiMarco’s Falcons burst out to a 28-3 third-quarter lead, but watched it wither away as the Patriots rallied for a 34-28 overtime win in the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
For both men, the outcome of the game had no bearing on a greater priority.
“I think all these opportunities have to do with raising up the Kingdom of God,” Easterby said. “He is using these things, even the biggest stage, for His glory and to draw all men to Himself.”
DiMarco, who caught two passes for 12 yards against the Patriots, emphatically concurs. His passion, far more than football, is to share the Gospel through his words and actions.
“Jesus paid it all on the cross,” he said. “I like to tell people there’s nothing we can do that’s going to change His love for us.”