Two years ago on BreakPoint we told you about a earnest immature Christian football player. On Monday, he was the favourite of Alabama’s inhabitant football championship win.
Alabama’s overwhelming come-from-behind NCAA championship feat over Georgia was fueled by beginner quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. In a remarkably common talk after the game, generally given what he’d just achieved on inhabitant television, he said: “I would like to appreciate my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With him all things are possible.”
Now two years ago, on BreakPoint, we talked about Tagovailoa’s faith—back when he was still in high school. Here’s a partial of that promote from 2015:
Sports Illustrated recently told the story of Tua Tagovailoa, who is deliberate to be the best high school football player in Hawaii. The youth quarterback at Honolulu’s Saint Louis High School is sketch comparisons to the school’s many famous alum, Heisman Trophy leader Marcus Mariota.
On the surface the comparison is understandable. Besides personification for the same high school, both quarterbacks share a identical character that creates them a hazard on the belligerent and in the air. And like so many good players in Hawaii, they share a Samoan heritage.
And it’s this last bit that’s the many intriguing and moving partial of the story, at slightest for Christians.
At the heart of the Sports Illustrated story about Tua is his attribute with his late grandfather. It’s a story about a Christian from one era flitting a devout bequest to the next generation. The essay is filled with Bible verses. It tells readers that the whole Tagovailoa house gathers “every dusk for request and teaching,” and to sing a Samoan strain that “asks God to be benefaction in all they do.”
This is something that Tua has in common with his hero, Marcus Mariota. Mariota, as we’ve pronounced before on BreakPoint, is also a Christian whose thought is “to go out and show the universe that Christ lives.”
Football fans have prolonged remarkable the jagged series of Samoan players in the NFL and in big-time college football. By one estimate, “a Samoan male is 56 times some-more likely to play in the NFL than an American non-Samoan.” Football greats like the late Junior Seau and Troy Polamalu are only two members of this shining line.
Less known, and even some-more important, is the role that Christianity has played in the lives of so many of these players and in Samoan multitude as a whole. Stories like that of Tagovailoa, Mariota, Polamalu, and former Raiders quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo are a testimony to the unusual success that 19th and 20th century missionaries had in converting the Samoan people to Christianity.
When the first missionaries from the London Missionary Society arrived in 1830, they found that there were already some Christians on Samoa. In gripping with Polynesian culture, it arrived around longboat, substantially from places like Tonga and Tahiti, where Wesleyan missionaries had already been at work.
Western missionaries then built on the Samoans’ captivate to Christianity. By 1855 the whole Bible had been translated into Samoan. And before long, local Samoan sacrament had been transposed by Christianity.
Today, probably every Samoan self-identifies as a Christian of some sort. More than 60 percent report themselves as “very religious.” Prominent Samoans frequently impute to Samoa as a “Christian nation.” The preliminary to Samoa’s structure describes Samoa as “an eccentric State formed on Christian beliefs and Samoan tradition and traditions.”
What’s more, 91 percent of all Samoans determine with the matter that Samoa is “one of the many eremite nations on Earth.” Thus, Christianity’s change on Samoan life and enlightenment is tough to dispute. This bequest and birthright are on display in stories like that of Tagovailoa’s. The missionaries who brought Christianity to the Polynesian universe wound up transforming an whole society.
Now, I’ve got no thought either Tua Tagovailoa is the next Marcus Mariota on the field. But what matters is that he seems to be following an even some-more critical Samoan tradition off of it. And that is worth celebrating.
Alabama’s Big Win: Tagovailoa’s Big Faith
For some-more on the faith and jaunty exploits of Tua Tagovailoa, check out the essay links in the Resources section.