This weekend marks one of the biggest annual sporting events in the world, the NFL Super Bowl, and Carolina Panthers Middle linebacker, Luke Kuechly, credits his parents and his Catholic faith for making a positive impact on his NFL career and his outlook on life.
“I went to a Catholic grade school, Jesuit high school and a Jesuit college, and I think you just learn certain things growing up in that environment. Really, the biggest thing I learned from it is respect and to treat people correctly,” the American footballer said following practice on 28th January.
“Your background has something to do with it, but my parents I think were the biggest impact on that, as far as to be a good person. You know, it’s not that hard, as long as you’re nice to people, everything works out,” he told the Diocese of Charlotte’s newspaper, the Catholic News Herald. “Treat people how you want to be treated. It’s pretty straightforward stuff, and I think it makes things easier.”
Kuechly, a product of St Xavier High School, a Catholic boys school, near his hometown of Evendale, Ohio, and a graduate of Boston College, is known as a fierce competitor who does not give up, a natural and humble leader, the person everyone calls ‘the nicest guy on the team’. His side are due to play the Denver Bronchos this Sunday, 7th February, at Super Bowl 50.
Kuechly said he doesn’t really have a special patron saint or a special prayer he always says before a game. “We say a couple of prayers in the locker room before games, though,” he said. The team is often seen praying at each game, and players are known as much for their charitable works off the field, especially for children in need.
However, the Super Bowl is not only about the game, but the entire spectacle, with much interest shown in the half-time show, which in previous years has seen incredible performances from musical legends, such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Rolling Stones and U2. This year will be no different with one of Britain’s top rock bands, Coldplay, headlining the prestigious event.
Live coverage of Super Bowl 50 begins at 10.50pm on BBC Two on Sunday 7th February.