After kicking the game-winning field goal in the final minute of the AFC Championship Game two weeks ago, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker did it again Feb. 12—this time with eight seconds remaining in Super Bowl LVII.
Butker’s 27-yard field goal propelled the Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 to earn Kansas City’s second Super Bowl victory in four years.
After the game, Butker glorified God just like he had done in media interviews last week leading up to the NFL’s highly anticipated championship game.
“You just got to go out and focus on what you can control,” Butker said in his postgame press conference. “I kind of had the easy job there. Offensive line did a great job blocking, great snap, great hold and thankfully the ball went through, and all glory to God.”
For some fans, Butker’s victory-sealing kick could be seen as a form of redemption after missing a 42-yard field goal attempt in the first half, but the Chief’s kicker said last week that, win or lose, his true identity is rooted in Christ.
“[God] is the most important thing,” Butker told Sports Spectrum. “If I didn’t have faith in God, I don’t think I’d be the father I am, the husband I am, the kicker I am. That kind of sets the tone for everything else and everything falls under that, but that gives me the strength to go do everything I need to do. I may have fears about it—I might have pressure—but I know I’m a child of God and He’s gonna protect me. And maybe that protection comes with some suffering, but that’s what’s best for me and I gotta accept that suffering and grow as best I can with that.”
More than ever, Butker said, he realized this season that his true worth is found in Christ alone.
“You miss some kicks and you realize, ‘OK, my identity can’t be all as a football player,’” he told Sports Spectrum. “So, I grew a lot in my prayer life knowing that I’m nothing without Him and I gotta lean on Him, and if He wants to take anything away from me, He can. And if He wants to add anything, He can. It’s all up to Him.”
And Butker wasn’t the only Chiefs player to credit God for his success.
Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton—who led all defensive players with nine tackles in the game and scooped up a fumble by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts for a 36-yard touchdown run—expressed gratefulness last week for his relationship with Jesus.
“Just a lot of gratitude … how much I’ve grown as a person, as an individual, a football player, a teammate, a follower of Christ,” he said.
Also last week, Eagles Super Bowl LVII standouts Hurts and wide receiver A.J. Brown—who connected for a touchdown pass—discussed the importance of their Christian faith.
“I know where my strength comes from,” Hurts said. “It comes from God. I know what my foundation is with my faith, and nothing goes on without God. My favorite Scripture … just reminds me to continue to be patient, continue to remain diligent, steadfast, keep going, … and keep God at the center regardless of what the circumstance is.”
Brown emphasized the importance of daily Bible reading.
“I read the Bible a lot because that’s how I fight my problems,” he said. “I’m not trying to stand over here and say I’m a perfect guy. Because I’m not. Nobody is. But I just lean heavy on my faith and try to let Him direct my paths.”
Photo: Peter Kovac/Alamy