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|Nick Foles has a calling far greater than throwing touchdown passes.
If Foles leads the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots Brett Gardner Jersey , he’ll become a folk hero in a city that has desperately waited for a championship since 1960.
But that won’t define Foles in the big picture. He has more important plans for his future.
”I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles said Thursday. ”It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts.”
Foles is part of a team that has a strong Christian brotherhood. MVP contender Carson Wentz has been outspoken about his faith and many players spend a lot of time together in prayer, studying the Bible and sharing devotionals.
Foles was one of the study leaders during his first stint in Philadelphia and has become a go-to source for younger guys. Left guard Stefen Wisniewksi also plans to become a pastor after his career ends.
”Guys like Nick and Wis can spit out scripture all day and it’s awesome to take in that knowledge,” said special teams ace Kamu Grugier-Hill.
Foles is passionate about helping students find their way and plans to use his experiences to inspire and encourage them.
”When I speak to (students), that’s such a time of young men and young women’s lives that there’s a lot of things that are thrown at them. So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it and share all the weaknesses I have because I’ve fallen many times,” Foles said. ”It’s something I want to do. I can’t play football forever. I’ve been blessed with an amazing platform and it’s just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey.”
Foles, who was offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl following the 2013 season, contemplated retirement after he asked the Rams to release him last year. He ended up going to Kansas City and reuniting with Andy Reid, who drafted him in the third round in Philadelphia in 2012.
He says prayer helped him decide to stay in the NFL, and he returned to the Eagles to be Wentz’s backup. When Wentz tore his left ACL in Week 14, Foles stepped in and led Philadelphia. He was spectacular against Minnesota in the NFC championship, tossing four touchdown passes in a 38-7 win.
Foles – not Tom Brady – has the highest passer rating in postseason history for quarterbacks who’ve thrown at least 75 passes. Foles has completed 72 of 96 passes for 793 yards Cheap Customized Buffalo Bills Jerseys , with five touchdowns and no interceptions in three games for a 116.4 passer rating.
”It took a lot more faith to come back and play than it would’ve to go in the other direction,” Foles said. ”Either way would’ve been fine. Either way, I would’ve trusted in God. I would’ve done something else and glorified God in that instance.
”The reason I decided to come back is I’ve loved the game of football since I was a kid, I loved playing sports, I loved being part of a team, and I knew as a person that the more growth I’ve had and the more opportunity I would have to glorify God and trust in him would be to go back and play football.”
AP NFL website:
Jerry Kramer has basked in the attention on his key block on the winning play in the Ice Bowl for more than half a century.
He sure was uneasy, though, when Vince Lombardi told Bart Starr to run "31 Wedge" from a yard out, the Green Bay Packers' dynasty dangling by a thread with 16 seconds remaining on that 1967 New Year's Eve afternoon so frozen in time.
It was a play Kramer himself had suggested, almost sheepishly, to Lombardi after finding a flaw in Dallas' short-yardage defense during film study 72 hours earlier.
He noticed that while Bob Lilly was so close to the ground "you couldn't move him with a D-9 CAT" bulldozer, fellow Cowboys defensive tackle Jethro Pugh stood too high in his stance, making him vulnerable.
"Coach," Kramer blurted out David Ortiz Jersey , "we can wedge Pugh if we have to."
"We can wedge Pugh if we have to."
"Run that back," barked Lombardi.
"So, we run the film back about four different times and he watched Pugh and he said: 'That's right. Put in a wedge on Pugh,'" Kramer recalled recently as he prepared for his long-awaited Pro Football Hall of Fame induction on Saturday.
Like the star pupil earning brownie points with his teacher, Kramer was proud of his suggestion. But when the Packers were trailing 17-14 with 16 seconds and no timeouts left, he found himself wishing he'd kept his mouth shut.
Starr called his last timeout after halfback Donnie Anderson's second straight slip, trotted over to the sideline and suggested to Lombardi that he run a sneak because of the poor traction.
"Then run it and let's get the hell out of here," Lombardi replied.
Starr called out the play in the huddle.
Kramer's heart sank.
It's one thing to suggest a play. It's another for it to get called in a do-or-die situation with an NFL championship on the line.
"You really wish they'd call something else maybe," Kramer recalled. "Maybe we'd rather run a sweep. Or maybe we ought to run over there."
Lilly kicked the ice away from the goal line. Pugh pondered calling a timeout to have someone from the Cowboys sideline bring out a shovel.
"The other guys were slipping and sliding because it was icy," Kramer recalled.
"There was an area almost like a golf divot where my left foot went, it was about an inch deep, three-quarters of an inch deep," Kramer said. "And my left foot just snuggled down into that divot and gave me like a starting block."
Pugh thought Kramer false-started.
Years later, Kramer would admit he moved a split-second before Ken Bowman's snap Trent Murphy Color Rush Jersey , taking some of the heat off Pugh, who died in 2015, and was long blamed by Cowboys fans for the loss in the Ice Bowl.
Kramer hit Pugh first and Bowman spun him around as Starr knifed into the end zone behind them, followed by fullback Chuck Mercein holding his hands high, not to signal touchdown but to show the officials he hadn't aided his quarterback into the end zone.
CBS had a monitor in the Packers' locker room afterward and showed Kramer's block in slow motion, sparking whooping and hollering from his teammates and praise from his coach.
"That's a fine block," Lombardi said .
The Cowboys flew home in silence while the Packers prepared for their second Super Bowl, a 33-14 rout of the Raiders in Lombardi's final game as their head coach.
Pugh would go on to win two Super Bowls with the Cowboys.
Kramer played another season and in 1969 was the only guard voted to the NFL's 50th Anniversary Team, something he expected would be a prelude to a hasty call from the Hall of Fame.
That invitation finally came this year, making him the 14th member of Lombardi's Packers to make it into the hall.
At first he was bitter over his repeated snubs, but he grew to accept that he might not ever make it into Canton.
"I'd been through the emotional package that Terrell is going through," Kramer said of fellow 2018 inductee Terrell Owens , who is skipping Saturday's ceremonies in Canton, Ohio Russell Bodine Jersey Bills , miffed that he wasn't a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Kramer can relate.
"I went through a period where I didn't want to hear about the Hall of Fame," Kramer said. "I wanted nothing to do with it. I literally drove by the Hall of Fame three or four times and I wouldn't go in because I was not invited in."
Kramer said he eventually found peace by counting his blessings, which included five titles in his 11 seasons as the anchor of Green Bay's line.
"It just occurred to me that if I was going to be angry over one honor that I didn't get and trash 100 honors that I did get, that would be stupid," Kramer said.
At 82, he finally has pro football's highest honor.
"There was such a range of emotions as deep as you can go into the Earth, and then cloud high," Kramer said. "So, it's been a fascinating journey."