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NFL Hall-of-Famer Tony Dungy Talks About His Faith


NFL Hall-of-Famer and New York Times best-selling author, Tony Dungy and his wife, early childhood educational specialist, Lauren Dungy stop by the studio to discuss their new children’s books, “Maria Finds Courage” and “Austin Plays Fair.”

Father Dave talks about his time working as a chaplain for a college football team and how he learned a lot from being a part of a team. Tony responds: “That’s kind of why we directed this series of books that way. There are a lot of life lessons. You can look at the sport and say, ‘Oh we won or lost,’ or you can look at it as what’s happening: getting along with teammates, sacrificing for others, working your way through problems, recovering after a setback. All of those things, you learn in the world of sports.”

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“It’s about working together and cooperating,” Lauren says. “Having that spirit and understanding that you can’t do it alone. That you need the support and help of others. And we like to live those principles in our home with our kids, in our workplace, and with anyone we come into contact with.”

Tony agrees: “Our faith is a priority of ours, and we want to demonstrate that in whatever we do. Whether it’s our family foundation, the Indianapolis Colts, or now on NBC, whatever we do, we want to show people that the Lord is first.”

Father Dave asks them to describe the new books. “The first one is called ‘Maria Finds Courage,’ and it’s about a girl named Maria who is new to soccer,” Lauren says. “She is very hesitant to jump in and play, and she’s afraid that she won’t be a good player. … But she has two fabulous coaches, Coach Lauren and Coach Tony, who encourage her to jump into the game, and she learns to listen to her mentors as they encourage her, and she also learns to step out of her comfort zone. Many kids experience that. They’re hesitant to try something new, but with a little bit of support from adults, they can do it. So, we think the story resonates well.”

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“Austin plays fair,” Lauren continues. “He’s a player on a team who is not doing so well. He’s frustrated, and one teammate suggests cheating in order to win. … Austin has to work through those choices, and his coaches are there to help him. They are great stories that really help kids with decision-making. And we think they will be able to see themselves in it, our stories have diversity. Kids from all walks of life.” (Original Air 8-08-18)