Inspiring Athletes

Inspiring Athletes

Nebraska assistant Ron Brown leads powerful pregame prayer at Penn State

posted by Chad Bonham

Click “Like” to share this to your friends!

Over the weekend, the spectacle that is college football provided millions of fans with countless thrills, breathtaking plays, last-second heroics and memorable moments that will live on for years to come. But there may not have been a more powerful image than what was observed before one game in particular even kicked off.

At Penn State’s Beaver Stadium this past Saturday, the majority of players and coaches from both the host team and the visiting Cornhuskers gathered at midfield as Nebraska assistant coach Ron Brown led a 90-second prayer amid a virtually silent crowd of over 105,000 fans. You can watch raw footage of that video below:

YouTube Preview Image

This act of pregame solidarity would have been an unusual site under the most normal of circumstances, but there was not much normal about this match-up between the Nittany Lions and the first-year members of the Big 10 from Nebraska. Personally, I don’t care to get into the gory details, but if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just Google the words “Penn State” and “scandal” and you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. Actually, you might not even need to include the word “scandal.” The child abuse allegations that rocked the university and it’s football program last week has been fodder for relentless media outlets across the board.

But on this day, an unheralded figure stepped forward to help make sense of it all through a heart-felt prayer that players on both sides acknowledged was a chilling moment they will likely never forget.

Nebraska running backs coach Ron Brown

Ron Brown, age 54, is in his second stint at Nebraska and currently serves as the running backs coach. He previously worked under legendary head coach Tom Osborne. In between that time, Brown was the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) state director in Nebraska and continues to be an ardent supporter of the national sports ministry. He writes a monthly column in the organization’s magazine Sharing The Victory, a publication to which I have been fortunate to contribute over the past several years.

It’s moments like these in which we are reminded of the truth found in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

While we may never know the exact truth of what happened in this horrific case (although details will continue to emerge over the next few days and weeks), we can rest assured that somehow, some way, God will work through the situation and draw people closer to Him. And just as importantly, we can know that healing is available for anyone who has been the victim of another person’s sinful nature. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” David wrote in Psalm 34:18 (ESV)

Be inspired by Coach Brown’s prayer and take some time to pray for those you know who have suffered through the pain of disease, death, abuse, poverty, hunger, depression, injustice, rejection and all other physical and emotional challenges. But don’t stop there. Reach out to those people with the kindness, compassion and love that is available to us by virtue of God’s grace.

And remember, football is never bigger than life. But sometimes football can teach us some pretty significant lessons about life if we’ll sit still long enough to hear God’s voice speaking in those moments, even through something as simple as a pregame prayer.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jim Troutman

    I would like to thank coach Brown and the entire Nebraska football family for their understanding, support and grace at Beaver Stadium.

    Jim Troutman
    PSU 1967.

Previous Posts

A conversation with NASCAR driver Blake Koch
Blake Koch has never been afraid of hard work. And that’s a good thing considering how difficult it is to break into NASCAR—especially when drivin

posted 12:00:48pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

A conversation with NASCAR driver Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell has been quietly building confidence and a solid résumé over the past seven years. It hasn’t been the easi

posted 12:00:42pm Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Kevin Durant wins first career NBA MVP Award
On Tuesday, Kevin Durant won his first career NBA Most Valuable Player award. His acceptance speech has quickly become the source of great inspiration across the country. Dura

posted 12:00:26am May. 07, 2014 | read full post »

A conversation with two-time Olympic bobsleigh athlete Elana Meyers
Elana Meyers was born into an Episcopalian family that later became Lutheran. More recently, she was baptized in a Baptist church. She’s also been known to attend non-denominational services. So Meyers really isn’t sure how to label her Christian faith. But the two-time Olympian and 2010 bron

posted 7:00:31pm Feb. 14, 2014 | read full post »

A conversation with Olympic freestyle skier Nick Goepper
Action sports athletes are often pegged as rebellious, freewheeling and borderline reckless. Freestyle skier Nick Goepper certainly doesn’t dispute the stereotype. But what might surprise some is that there’s a strong remnant of Christians within the various winter disciplines. And as more ac

posted 12:00:40am Feb. 13, 2014 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.