23
Oct
07

Hoping For A Super Day For Dungy. Archived 1/26/07

NFL San Diego Chargers from Fanzz

tony_dungy.jpg

My heart bleeds for Tony Dungy for two reasons. Only one reason has to do with football.

Last year in the span of about a week, Dungy went from living a dream to living a parent’s worst nightmare. On the verge of a perfect season, the Indianapolis Colts were defeated by the San Diego Chargers in Week 14. That loss would pale in comparison, to what would follow. On December 22, his son James was found dead by his girlfriend of an apparent suicide.

I’m the father of a three year old son and the first time he received his shots I cried because I couldn’t stand to see my son in that much pain to be so small. My mind cannot fathom placing my only child into the cold earth and walking away knowing I’ll never see him again. No loving parent deserves to outlive their child (ren), it isn’t the natural order of things, but in today’s world what is natural anymore.

Dungy would return a couple of weeks later as his Indianapolis Colts would finish out the season and reach the AFC Championship, where they would lose to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Next Sunday in Miami, Tony Dungy could’ve actually been coaching in his second Super Bowl. In 2002, Dungy was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and replaced by Jon Gruden, who coached the Dungy-built Bucs to their only Super Bowl title in 2003.

To Gruden’s credit, he did acknowledge that Tony Dungy built the current team in Tampa.

Once moving to Indy, coach Dungy found the road to the Super Bowl almost unreachable, as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots would win three titles in four years, using the Colts as a stepping-stone along the way on two occasions.

The bridesmaid tag was placed on Dungy and the Colts, some went as far as to say that Dungy was too nice, he needed a “mean streak” to get over the hump.

Many said the same thing about former Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry before he won 2 Super Bowls.

Like Landry, Dungy is a man of unbelievable faith; in his darkest hour, he relied on the hand of God to lead him and his family back to the light.

Now a year later Dungy is in the Super Bowl facing his good friend Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith as one of these men is poised to make history.

The past 13 months of Tony Dungy’s life resemble the parable of Job, where God allowed Job to lose all that he had in order to prove to Satan that Job would not curse his maker, for Job’s faith he was rewarded all that he lost tenfold.

No, a Super Bowl victory will not bring James Dungy back, but for Tony Dungy’s faith, I’m sure that holding the Vince Lombardi trophy will be a welcome sight for the Dungy family.

Win or lose on Sunday, Dungy has reaffirmed my faith that nice guys do finish first.

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