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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Giants Amukamara: Chaste and Sober...

Having his priorities straight...  
After winning their first game, following an 0 and six start, the New York Giants are probably feeling more like David than Goliath these days, just two years removed from a Super Bowl Championship.

Yet, if, as the saying goes, "Hope springs eternal," even as Autumn turns to Winter, at least in the hearts and minds of some of the Giants' players and coaches, and since the rest of the NFC Eastern Division is not exactly setting the world on fire, then it is especially the case for players like third-year cornerback Prince Amukamara, who have more than just the hope of optimistic fervor to play for but for one of eternal consequence.   

Amukamara is a devout Catholic who unabashedly lives his faith in the public arena.

In fact, the 24-year-old, who was on the Giants' last Super Bowl Championship team as a rookie, gained some national attention recently after admitting in a Muscle and Fitness Magazine article that he is proudly abstaining from sex until marriage and has never had a drink of alcohol in his life.

He said, “I grew up Catholic, so it just started out as one of those things. I’d think, ‘If I do this, maybe I can get to heaven,’ so I said no drinks, no sex, all the big things. As I grew up, I realized that’s not what it’s about. It’s about having a relationship with Jesus. It’s not about ‘Don’t do this. Don’t do that.’ But still, it’s just one of those things I haven’t done, and I don’t see any benefit to doing it.”

Amukamara and fiancée Pilar Davis...
The former first-round draft pick and All-American from the University of Nebraska, who is engaged to be married next February, proudly wears his faith on his sleeve and is often seen praying on one knee with his helmet by his side on the field, ala Tim Tebow, which is why some have referred to him as "The Black Tim Tebow."  It's a moniker, the defensive standout has no qualms in embracing.

“Yeah, some people call me the black Tim Tebow.  I am a virgin. I’m not ashamed to say that.”

That is a bold statement in a culture overly exposed and consumed by sexuality, where the vision of masculinity has been reduced to The Hangover levels, and physical pleasures, self-gratification and indulgence have become societal standards, not to mention, often confused with love and happiness.  It is refreshing to see a young man, at his peek professionally, physically and financially, opt for modesty, self-restraint and an earnest search for true love and happiness, which will never be attained through the material.

Let's face it, an NFL players life is not exactly the most conducive to wholesomeness. 

In the First Letter to Timothy, St. Paul writes, "the love of money is the root of all evils," which is a very provoking statement considering the multi-million dollar contracts most first-round draft choices receive, the temptations and distractions professional football players are exposed to on a regular basis, and the narcissistic environment the glamour and attention bring.  It's no wonder why so many players get caught up in destructive behavior (Just see NY Jets' Antonio Cromartie, who has 10 kids with 8 different women!).  But, there are still many good and righteous players as well.

A man of faith...
Another Giants cornerback, Jayron Hosley told the NY Post, "There's more guys out there like that than you think.  Negative publicity seems to get the headlines, but there's a lot of good guys out here doing a lot of great things."

Fortunately for Amukamara and Giants teammates, they have a Head Coach in Tom Coughlin, a devout Catholic Christian himself, who helps keeps them on the straight and narrow on and off the field.

Yet, despite his healthy and straitlaced lifestyle, Amukamara still enjoys going out dancing with his teammates but he just doesn't drink and he tells women he works in construction to avoid any unwarranted interest.  Then again, he did meet his wife on one of those nights out with the boys two years ago and they have been dating ever since.
In any case, although it still a long shot, and being a Redskins fan, who are in the same division, I am optimistic hopeful that it is, maybe, despite their rough start, the Giants can be like the young David in the Old Testament, shockingly slay the Philistine giant Goliath (in Dallas, Philadelphia or Washington) and sneak into the NFC playoffs.  Of course, as with the diminutive champion of Israel, that would require a divine intervention...

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