Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lion and Lamb

Lions build a belief system - Los Angeles Times
Within the Detroit locker room, the reaction to his unabashed spirituality has been very different.

Since his arrival as a free agent last fall, attendance at weekly Bible study has increased from a handful of regulars to as many as 20, roughly a third of the roster. The team chaplain has baptized more than a dozen players and wives and expects more soon.

Even nonbelievers say religion has helped to unify a team ripped apart by years of losing. With the Lions unexpectedly at 6-4 facing Green Bay in a crucial game today, they point to Kitna's influence as a factor in their unlikely run at the playoffs.

"Really, every day in football you're selling a vision," Coach Rod Marinelli says. "Faith is a belief in the unknown and, as a team, that's where we're trying to get."

The question makes Kitna smile. No, he was not always a Christian.

During his first three seasons at tiny Central Washington, he says, "I was basically an alcoholic, a womanizer, cheating my way through school."

The change came when his girlfriend caught him with another woman. She turned to Christianity, he followed, and they were married eight months later.

Jon and Jennifer have been together 14 years now.

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