This being my first time in the playoffs, I’m extremely excited. We all are! I grew up dreaming of playing in the NFL and wondering what it would be like to make it this far. Now I’m here, about to head into my second NFL playoff game, and I realize it really is just another football game. While media, fans and outside noise hype it up so much, I try to not make it more than it is.
Yes, it is exciting, and in the NFL, this is a big deal. It really is a huge accomplishment to have made it this far — we’re one game away from the Super Bowl! It’s been a long season, longer than any I’ve ever experienced before. Last Friday, right before my first NFL playoff game, I remember getting so amped up. Even though it is just another game, I suddenly became extremely excited and yet extremely nervous at the same time. I know this week I’ll experience more of the same.
Our team has four players who have been in the Super Bowl before — Chris Long, Malcolm Jenkins, LeGarrette Blount and Torrey Smith. Coach Pederson had them speak to the whole team this past week about what it is like. They explained to us what we should expect and helped us understand that at the end of the day, it’s just one more football game.
The biggest thing I’ve learned this year, especially in the past few weeks, is that you never know what’s going to happen, so you have to be ready at any time to step in and lead. Whether on the field, in the locker room or in team Bible study, you have to prepare as if you are the starter. On the field you never know what might happen; you have to be prepared for the worst. One of your teammates might get injured and end up out for the season. You need to be ready to give it all you have on every play. As a Christ-follower, I want to be prepared in my knowledge and trust in Him so that if anyone asks me a question about my faith, I’m ready.
God has also been teaching me to appreciate my teammates more this year, not only as they compete for our team, but as many of them work hard to build up the Kingdom of Christ. As a team needs each player — gifted specifically to execute in their position on the field — so the Church has members who are all a critical part of God’s mission, able to benefit the Church with their gifts and talents. Not one teammate is greater than the others. Everyone is needed for this mission.
—Trey Burton, Philadelphia Eagles tight end
Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Trey’s Increase profile here: https://theincreasefootball.com/author/trey-burton/
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