Saturday afternoon, Mitch Berg predicted a Bears blowout, something that Captain Ed correctly termed as hyperbole. Mind you, Captain Ed likely didn’t mean Al Gore hyperbole but hyperbole nonetheless.

I’m picking the Colts, partly because their defense has played well since Bob Sanders returned to the lineup, partly because Peyton Manning is throwing the ball to a great trio of receivers and partly just because I’ve gotta cheer for Tony Dungy.

Most, if not all, of his players weren’t even born when Tony Dungy first walked onto the U of M campus as a quarterback. In fact, I’d doubt that many of his current players knew that he earned his World Championship ring as a nickel back with the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty of the 1970’s.

I’m cheering for Tony Dungy because he was also Denny Green’s first defensive coordinator for the Vikings. I’m cheering for Tony Dungy because he took over a pathetic Tampa Bay team that strung together 10 loss seasons as routinely as John Wooden won NCAA basketball championships at UCLA and turned them into eventual Super Bowl champions.

Mostly, I’m cheering because pro sports needs hundreds more Tony Dungys. We need more men like Tony Dungy because of his dignity, his character and his unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. In short, we need more men like Tony Dungy because he’s a great role model at a time when our children look at sports figures as role models.

Everyone would have understood had Dungy walked away from football a year ago after the Colts’ fantasy season came crashing down in defeat and Dungy’s son committed suicide. That he didn’t is testament of Dungy’s resolve & his deep faith. I remember Dungy being asked about how he was handling it. In typical Dungy fashion, he simply said that it was difficult for selfish reasons but that he knew his son was with God because he had accepted Christ as his Savior.

After handling that difficult situation with that much dignity, how can you not cheer for Tony Dungy?

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