Discussion with Matt Birk – Transcript



Matthew Christoff:  Hello, my name is Matthew James Christoff. Welcome to the New Emangelization Project. The New Emangelization Project is a call to confront the Catholic man crisis and to respond with new ardor, expressions, and methods to draw men to our Lord Jesus Christ in his Catholic church.

If we wish to have a new evangelization, there must be a New Emangelization creating generations of Catholic men who are absolutely on fire for our Lord Jesus Christ. Today,

I’m speaking with Matt Birk, Catholic, husband, father. Oh, yeah. You might also know that he grew up in Minnesota, graduated from Harvard, and went on to play center for the Minnesota Vikings and then the Baltimore Ravens.

Matt is a two‑time All Pro selected for the Pro Bowl six times, was named the NFL’s Man of the Year and played for the Super Bowl‑winning Baltimore Ravens in 2013. Matt and co‑author Rich Chapman have written a new book that’s off to a strong start even though it’s not going to be released until February 1. It’s called “All‑Pro Wisdom: The 7 Choices That Lead to Greatness.” You can find out more about Matt and his book at AllProWisdom.com. Hello, Matt Birk.

Matt Birk:  How are you?

Matthew:  Gosh, I feel really glad to be here with you. [laughs]

Matt:  I’m glad to be here, too.

Matthew:  I feel small a lot of times in my life, but I’m actually really sensing it right now.

Matt:  [laughs]

Matthew:  Before digging into men’s evangelization, I wanted to thank you both personally and from so many of the men that I know in the Twin Cities for your willingness to step up and be a faithful Catholic in the public square. Many people are afraid to do that, and you’re fearless in that way. So God bless you and thank you for that.

Matt:  Well, I appreciate that. You certainly do take a beating in the court of public opinion when you choose to live your faith sometimes. There’s no such thing as too much encouragement, so those remarks are appreciated.

Matthew:  Men do look up to you. I hear it all the time. As you know, you’ve done a lot of work with a pregnancy crisis center, Men on a Mission, and St. Paul’s Outreach, and lots of men show up to hear you. They’re motivated and inspired by you.

Matt:  That’s a two‑way street. I mean when I’m around men who are gathering in the name of Jesus, in the name of the faith, that’s inspiring to me. That gives me energy, and it drives me to do more and to be better and to go deeper into my faith to be a better Catholic, to be a better husband, to be a better father, friend, brother, son, all those things.

It’s a powerful thing when men come together. I guess that’s to be a theme of my life being a football player and experiencing that power, that strength that you can get from a group of men when you’re playing football. But that pales in comparison to what I feel when I’m with certain groups of Catholic men who are all striving to do God’s work.

Matthew:  It’s really interesting because this didn’t hit me until just this moment about just the passion that exists to be great at anything, but particularly, in such a manly thing like Pro Football. But that passion is also that exact same thing that we need in the church now, and it’s so lacking. It’s lacking in general, right?

We can see that from the statistics and the numbers of people that are leaving the faith, and the people that remain in the faith are so often lukewarm about the Lord and the Church.

Just maybe start broadly. You’ve met a lot of men. You’ve been all over the place playing football and through your business affairs I’m sure. Do you see that we have a crisis of Catholic men in the Church? Do you see that?

Matt:  I do. I think a crisis of Catholic men who are not on fire for God but on fire for the faith. Certainly, our faith has taken its fair share of beatings in today’s culture in the media. To be honest and to be forthright, a lot of it’s been self‑inflicted. I think that public opinion in some ways the last decade or two has shamed Catholic men. There’s been this turning inward or going into a shell a little bit, and where we’ve lost our edge I believe as a faith is from the evangelization standpoint.

I’ve always looked at Catholic men like, growing up, men of action. Men who spoke very softly but just went about their business and did the things that they were called to do but didn’t boast about it, didn’t tell anybody else about it, didn’t try to evangelize the faith with their words, more so just by being quiet examples. I think that that’s very admirable. I think that that’s the right way to go about your life. You’re not doing the things you do for anybody else other than God, and you don’t need to pat yourself on the back or get other people to do that for you.

Just how our faith has been under attack recently, just doing is not enough. It is now time to stand up and defend ourselves, our faith, our Church with words as well as actions, faith and works.

The works part never goes away, because it’s very easy to talk about it. It starts with doing it but also talking about it, just the way that our culture is wired and the way that things go now, everything is so connected and instant. We need to rebut these attacks. We need to show people truly what the Catholic Church is about.

It’s not about just this one scandal here or this one piece of doctrine here. We need to understand the faith and try to convey…You can’t convey the entire faith to people, which is impossible to do, because it’s so deep and so vast. We need to understand, just get back to basics and understand why we are Catholic, and we need to be able to articulate that to people.

Matthew:  I’ve done about 20 of these interviews so far. You’re the first one to really hit on this idea of shame. The fact that there have been scandals in the Church and things and various attacks be it, the idea of having a male priesthood, and to be a male is almost somehow be derogatory to females. Men have been shamed in a way, and that’s interesting…The anecdote is kind of what you’re saying is to step up and to not only know your faith but to be able to speak about it and to take action.

Matt:  A Patrick Madrid had a great line. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak at my church a couple of months ago, talking about defending the faith. The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend the lion. You just let it out of its cage. That’s what we have to do with the Catholic faith.

I was guilty as anybody, raised Catholic and grateful but took the faith for granted and didn’t really know what it meant to be Catholic until I’ve stepped away, fell away during college and my early 20s, and then was thankfully brought back by my wife and started a family. God also placed some strong older Catholic mentors in my life.

That was when I started to really go on my search for Truth and figure out not just why I was Catholic, but should I be Catholic? That’s a question everybody should ask himself. I blindly accepted the faith for the first 25, 30 years of my life until I was in a position to just where I needed to figure it out. Now, for me, the search is over. I found the Truth. Now, the journey has just begun.

Matthew:  Finding that, it’s a first principle in your book, which we should get into now, but it’s basically identity. Who the heck am I?

Matt:  Who are you?

Matthew:  If we put on these labels of things that we don’t actually strongly believe, that questioning of kind of figuring out your identity, I think that’s fundamental. So often we don’t even ask ourselves that question. I think we have a crisis of identity everywhere you look. We’re categorized and told by the media and told by politicians and told who you are and what you are.

You’re part of this racial group. You’re part of this economic class. You’re this. You’re that. You’re American. You’re not American. Whatever it is, if we don’t come to the fundamental understanding in a supernatural way, we’re just going to get battered around like ping‑pong balls.

Matt:  You’re exactly right. Society tells us we need to compartmentalize, work, we need to be somebody, and then at home we’re supposed to be somebody, then at Church, we’re supposed to be the person all the time. “Who are you?” is a very important question to ask yourself, and as Catholics, we can’t be confused about that. We are children of God. We know who made us, what He did for us and what He expects of us.

It’s that simple, it goes from there. Instead of like you said, being bounced around and sometimes depending on the situation that we’re in, we might ask ourselves well who should I be here? Who should I be just to pacify other people or to fit in or not cause waves. We need to establish our identity first, and then go into our role as fathers, husbands, co‑workers, colleagues, all those things, after we establish who we are.

St. Catherine of Sienna said be who you ought to be, and then you can set your world ablaze. That’s really how it goes. If you don’t know who you are and what you stand for, your “nonnegotiables”, as I like to call them, it’s really hard to do anything great or to have any type of impact.

Matthew:  It’s almost, you’re nobody.

Matt:  At the end of the day, yeah. If you’re trying to please…

Matthew:  You’re flipping around, I mean…

Matt:  Trying to please my boss, I’m trying to be this person, I’m trying to please my wife. You just go around…you’re letting other people’s expectations form your behaviors and ultimately who you are. It can’t be that way, or you’re just spinning your wheels really.

Matthew:  The other thing is, we grab on strongly to labels, because we see a fight that we want to have, whatever it might be. Either you’re an environmentalist, or you’re a Republican, or you’re a Democrat. Then you start to lock into some views that somebody gives you, pretty soon, there are extremes in all dimensions. Any time you see any of these things, there’s always an extreme. Pretty soon you’re doing things that are inconsistent with what you believe in your core.

Matt:  Our society today is so argumentative, and with the pervasiveness of social media, and nowadays you can say anything and there’s no accountability, but you can read what other people say, and it gets you more defensive, more calloused. An argument, you’ll meet against you. The point of any debate or disagreement or discussion or argument, whatever you want to call it, it’s not for victory.

A college professor told me this once, and it made sense, seek truth, not victory. Let’s just talk, let’s have a discussion based on fact, try to take emotion out of it as much as we can. I don’t say this as much as I can. I don’t say this arrogantly, but if somebody wants to talk about faith, and about religion, based on the facts you can’t deny that the Catholic faith, the Catholic Church, is the one true Church, and it’s the one that Jesus Christ started.

There’s no faith deeper or more complete than the Catholic faith. That’s really not a belief, that’s a fact.

Matthew:  We mentioned the new book, “All Pro Wisdom: Seven Choices for Greatness.” Why did you write this book?

Matt:  My 15 years in the NFL, it really was a journey. Even when I wasn’t strong in my faith, I still felt God’s pull, and I knew something was going on. That, accompanied by the fact I never thought I’d last very long in the NFL. I just wanted to absorb as much as I could. Yes, I love football, but just being around people, people who are the best in the world at what they’re doing. I am a sports fanatic, it’s in my DNA.

I love just being around athletes, what I found out quickly though, is it’s a lot more than just talented guys. There are a lot of great men in the NFL. To play football, at that level for any amount of time, you have to have strong character. You have to have great character. It’s a hard game. Life is hard, football is hard. It’s a different kind of sport, where it’s mostly preparation, and not much of the preparation is very enjoyable. It’s a delayed gratification type of thing.

It’s also obviously crazy to me how the world views you. One day, you’re nobody, the next because you’re playing for the Minnesota Vikings or the Baltimore Ravens, and you have its notoriety and fame, and it’s such a roller coaster. You win a game one week, and they talk about how great you are. You’re going to the Super Bowl the next week and you don’t win, and you’re terrible. Fire the coach.

So many things about it are crazy. For me, it was really a spiritual journey, the fifteen years. I wanted to chronicle that, and use football, which is like a civic religion to take readers on this journey as well, and have them explore and consider these seven questions, and make these seven choices for themselves, and to see where they end up.

Greatness isn’t being a football player or a Super Bowl champion or being a CEO of a huge company. Greatness is, to use the phrase of one of our Catholic evangelists, being the best version of yourself, that’s what greatness is. John Wooden, famed basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins. Everybody’s an underachiever. They’re talking about people as basketball players, but as people we are. Some were supposed to be, that God made us to be, and we’re all falling short of that.

Really, greatness is for everybody. It’s not just for the gifted or the ultra‑talented, or people who have high‑profile positions in society. It’s for everybody, and when you go through these seven choices, and consider this, when you get done with that, basically, you’re unstoppable, in a way. There’s really nothing outside, external, that they can really faze you, as we talked about, once you know who you are, once you know what your purpose is, once you know where you’re going as far as with your goals, where to seek wise counsel.

When you have these things aligned, your life is really on a trajectory for greatness. It’s not about anything else other than what’s inside of you.

Matthew:  It’s really interesting, because this crisis with men, there are different buckets. There are people that have never been evangelized and don’t know anything about Jesus and don’t know anything about the faith. There are people who have explicitly heard but have fallen away. There’s a big group that have been baptized, but they haven’t been evangelized.

For many of the people that have fallen away from their faith, if you went right in on, like, “Let’s dig into the catechism,” or, “Let’s do that,” you’re not going to get a lot of traction.

This is what for many people the term would be, “Pre‑evangelization.” You get them asking the right questions and thinking about things. These questions force you to make some pretty big choices. Who am I? What’s my mission?

I love the thing about, “Choose to develop your character.” There’s a crying need for us to develop virtue. That’s one of the big bridges between a secular world and a faithful world. We can greet it but there are certain virtues.

Clarify your goals. Connect to power, which I want to get back to. Choose to seek wise counsel and choose to commit to growth. This idea of wise counsel, I’d like to talk about that a little bit more, because you’ve mentioned it about God putting, in your conversion experience, some really great mentors.

I’ve just had a chance to have a long conversation with Jeff Cavins, and one of his key themes for this New Emangelization is mentorship, and drawing closer to mentors.

Matt:  I would put it like this. In football, you watch a lot of film. You study your opponent, but you also study yourself. Everything in practice is filmed, you watch everything. You watch other guys on your team do it, you watch other players from other teams do it. They’re always showing you film.

The reason they do that is because they want you to be able to see what it looks like. The coach can tell you and talk to you about all these things, like I could talk to you about what we’re talking about here, the faith, anything. But when you can see what it looks like, exactly what it looks like, that picture is worth a million words.

My father who was a great man, but to have other people as well keep popping up in my life, almost everywhere I turn here’s this guy, that’s what it looks like. That’s what it looks like to be a strong Catholic. Not a guy telling me about it, but that’s what it looks like. It’s another great way to learn how to do it, to seek wise counsel.

The first thing a wise man knows is that he doesn’t know everything. We all need help. We all need mentors. What’s really been powerful is that we’ve been able to get in front of some people with some status as far as the world’s concerned, people who are very successful.

The first guy I was talking about, Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, who’s met with myself and Rich, and other people. They talk about this idea of wise counsel and they say, “I would never have made it if it hadn’t have been for mentors in my life, people who have shown me the way.”

Commissioner Goodell says, “It’s not like I started off being Commissioner.” He started off 30 years ago. He was an intern at the NFL.

But whether you’re talking about your journey in a company, or your journey through life, your spiritual journey, all these things, nobody can go it alone. Actually, it’s a very foolish thing to think that you can or to try to do that. Of course as men, we’re taught, needless to say…

Matthew:  Don’t ask for directions.

Matt:  …that we’re supposed to be the strong, silent type. We’re supposed to have everything under control and seeking wise counsel or asking questions is looked upon as a sign of weakness, where actually it’s an attribute of strength.

Matthew:  The idea of mentorship and why it’s such a great point, and I think it links directly into this idea of the New Emangelization is that one of the things, we’re ashamed of the faith, we’re afraid to let it out, so we’re lacking these mentors.

To the extent that men will step up and go, “I’m going to choose to be a mentor,” you have to know your faith to do that. Then you have to reach out to men. There are men that are hungry for that.

My own conversion, like you, God brought really strong Catholic men. That was actually one of the things that attracted me to the faith, because I looked around and I said, “God these guys are impressive.”

Matt:  “I want to be like that guy. What’s he got?”

Matthew:  What do they know? Why are they Catholic? Why are they going to Mass all the time?

Matt:  Sometimes our stomachs are growling and we don’t know what we’re hungry for. As we both know, as we all know, nothing happens by accident. Just at the right time, God will insert somebody in your life that it’s like, “Whoa. Looking back that’s exactly what I needed at the time.”

This book certainly is not overtly Catholic or spiritual, necessarily. It’s kind of a light touch on these heavy topics. But when you get into it and you delve basically inside of yourself, it would be hard for anybody not to consider the spiritual aspect unless they just outright deny.

Matthew:  I was thinking about this, “Connect to power.” I haven’t seen the book yet. I’ve seen some of the outline. But I’m thinking to myself, “If you really start thinking about power, unless you’ve totally shut God out, it’s hard not to think of God in that context.” Are there other examples in there about…?

Matt:  Yeah. For football, like I said, it’s being a part of a team. You connect to that. You feel that from the other guys. It’s like you’re surprised at how far you can push yourself, or maybe what you can accomplish. But a lot of it has to do with being surrounded by these guys.

Football is so intense. It’s not like you’re just coworkers, you’re not just colleagues, you’re as close to brothers as you can get, maybe without going to war with somebody. But football is an intense experience. You just become so close with these guys, you develop such a bond that that does give you power and strength.

What we’re talking about here, that’s what the Emangelization is about as well. It all comes from God, but as I alluded to earlier, it’s powerful when men get together. It’s powerful for me when a group of men get together, and share in the faith, and stand up, and they’re bold, and they’re unapologetic for who they are, and for what they stand for, and for what our Church stands for.

Matthew:  Back in my old consulting days I did a lot of work with corporations and a book that was written by one of my colleagues was called, “The Wisdom of Teams.” There was basically this idea that there’s a certain wisdom, and I think this overlaps with some of the things that you’re talking about that’s built in teams.

But few people ever get a chance to be on a high‑performing team. With football, with the NFL, you’re on a high‑performing team to start with. There’s a very clear mission, you’re trying to get to the Super Bowl, at least during that year’s cycle.

That’s one of the things that I think is so lacking, both in the Church and for men in general in this society, that this idea of male bonding and that mentorship that happens when you grow up, outside of maybe the military and some sports kinds of ways, men are lacking that feeling, that camaraderie, that joint mission, that brotherhood.

Matt:  I think it’s men coming together and joining together in something that’s meaningful. Winning a Super Bowl is a big deal. It’s a lofty goal. It’s something, “We all want this. Wouldn’t this be great? This is a lofty aspiration. Let’s go for it.” You feel meaning and purpose in that.

Unfortunately, a lot of times when you talk about work and family obligations, too often the only male time that men are getting is a happy hour or a night out to the ballgame with their buddies, or something.

Camaraderie is good, but what’s the agenda? What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to blow off some steam? Can we engage in maybe some meaningful, deep conversations and try to build each other up as iron sharpens iron, one knife sharpens another? What are we trying to do?

There are so many demands. As we talked about earlier with the identity piece, we’re supposed to compartmentalize who we are depending on where we are during our day. Men are tired, I think. We’ve lost the whole idea of what it means to be a man.

We’re all guilty of this, I’m guilty of this that we’re too caught up in the rat race and thinking that what we make or what our status is defines us as a man, and obviously, it doesn’t. It starts with our relationship with God, and it goes with the husband that God calls us to be, the father, we’re supposed to be the shepherd of our children’s hearts. That’s where we need to start as men.

When you start there as opposed to starting with, “What’s my job? How much money am I going to make? What am I going to buy?” That’s exhausting. That will wear you out, because that’s a game you can never win. It’s just never enough. But when you start the other side, then you can be confident. Once you understand your identity, you can have the confidence to be who you are.

Matthew:  I think that you’re really onto something here, because most people never think about being great. It hasn’t occurred to them, like, “I’ve gotten these cars, and I have a job. I’m a middle manager,” or, “I’m doing this,” or, “I’m a stay‑at‑home mom,” or whatever, it never occurs to them that they can be great.

But God calls. This greatness, what is it? In the faith it’s Sainthood. I ask men all the time, “Have you made a commitment to be a Saint?” Many haven’t. It hasn’t even occurred to them, “I can be a saint?” “Yeah, God calls everyone.”

You’re either going to be a Saint in heaven or you’re going the other way. It’s a matter of time if you are going to heaven, so why not? What could be greater than that?

Matt:  Greatness is for everybody. You look at the greatest people that ever lived. Most of them didn’t have worldly status. If you were talking about greatness, if you were talking about impact, if that’s how you want to define it, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jesus Himself.

Curtis Martin, one of my favorite books, “Made For More,” by Curtis Martin, talks about by worldly standards Jesus was a complete and utter failure. He died with no land, no money, no standing in society, and 12 people that believed in him. 12. Then He rose. We just get too caught up in the definitions of our culture and our society and we let that shape who we are and what we’re about.

I think we talk about the Emangelization. It’s basically shunning that idea and saying no, no, it doesn’t start out there. It starts in here, in the Church, and we’ll go outward from there.

Matthew:  Again, coming from outside the Church and finding the Church, or the Church finding me and Jesus calling, it never occurred…to be part of the greatest thing that’s ever existed on Earth, the Catholic Church, and I 100 percent believe that without any reservation. Anybody that doesn’t understand that hasn’t looked at the Church, doesn’t really know the Church.

To think that I can be part of that and I can go anywhere in the world and walk into a Mass and I’m at home. It’s almost like you can’t even appreciate that if you’ve never been separated.

Matt:  You go to Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and that same Sunday they’re doing the same readings in Hong Kong, in Rome, in Australia, it doesn’t matter. When you talk about connecting to something greater than yourself, yeah, a football team’s powerful. That’s a 53 man roster. How about connecting to the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world? That’s quite a group to be connected to and I think you can draw strength from that.

Matthew:  And the Saints and Jesus and His mother. We have a lot of work to do.

Matt:  It’s unlimited, almost. It really is. What the Church offers us as followers, it’s unlimited. It’s infinite.

Matthew:  If you look at Jesus, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how Jesus comes in the various roles that He plays, I’m coming to the conclusion that the reason that He does these many things and acts in so many ways, as priest, as king, demonstrating virtues, as a leader, as a strategist…there’s all these aspects of Christ you could dwell on forever.

The reason why He does this, I believe, is because we all have our little keys, our little doors. For me, being a strategist, seeing there’s this giant plan and it’s been in place since the beginning of time and you can track it through our Scriptures of what Christ has done and how He structures things and calls people and organizes, even today. To me, that’s just so overwhelming in its power. That’s not going to appeal to somebody else who says it’s really His humility that is the thing that draws me.

That’s the genius of our God, I guess.

Matt:  Speaking of what resonates with you or what clicks or sparks your personal relationship with God, that’s what makes Christianity unique from all the other religions. You have to have that personal relationship with God.

Matthew:  You don’t get that in the other religions.

Matt:  No, you don’t, and you don’t have to. It’s constructed differently. That’s the beauty of all of Christianity is we’re all linked in that way. That personal relationship is not just the foundation. You think about it, that’s very exciting. The strategist role, if you will, or hat, that’s what spoke to you. Something else speaks to somebody else.

We all have that unique relationship, but, also, once you’ve plugged into that and you’re with other people that have plugged into it in their own way and their unique relationship with God, what could possibly derail you or stop you once you’ve made that connection?

Matthew:  One of the shocking statistics that I’ve uncovered in my research is that 50 percent of Catholics don’t believe it’s possible to have a personal relationship with God. To me, it’s almost nonsensical in the idea that we actually draw closer to Him in a real way in the Eucharist.

Matt:  To me, that’s culture. That’s culture saying over and over and over again saying no, that’s not possible. Do you really think that’s possible? Kind of wearing us down. You said you never get too much encouragement. Unfortunately, our culture does not support the faith anymore. Fifty years ago, it may have, but it doesn’t anymore.

Now, we really have to be intentional about what we’re doing, what we’re choosing to believe or who we’re choosing to listen to. We can’t just sit there and take it all in and just accept everything. We have to be more adamant about what we’re doing and really make more of an effort to grow in the faith.

Matthew:  We’re called to evangelize. I think we all thought that was outsourced to the priests, but every single person is called to do that. When you start to realize that then you get intentional. Before we close up, are there any other key thoughts about the book that you’d like to mention?

Matt:  I think we covered it. It was really this exercise that was not a book writing exercise. I knew it was going to be a ton of work. It was 10 times as much as I thought it would be. Many nights, days really locked inside a room trying to get it done. It really was a calling, for me, and I wrote it with Rich Chapman, my partner. That would be my next door neighbor in Minnesota.

God, for some reason, I know the reason, eight years ago I moved in next door to him. He’s one of those guys, OK, yup, that’s what it looks like. What does he have because I want to be like that? Rich is 20 years older than me. We formed this friendship out in the cul‑de‑sac chasing our kids around or me chasing my kids and him helping me.

This is a calling for us. This is something we felt like we had to do. These principles are universal. They’re for everybody, whether you’re talking about your life, your business, your relationships. It’s a journey. It’s a path that we want to take people down because your intentions don’t determine your destination. Everybody has good intentions. Your choices, that’s what forms your path. Your path is where you end up.

We want people to consider these seven choices and, obviously, encourage them to choose well.

Matthew:  I think you mentioned earlier, maybe in another conversation, the idea of stealth evangelization, which I think there’s certainly a beautiful set of principles here that are going to draw people to think about it.

Matt:  It’s not subliminal. I’m not trying to trick anybody. By the way, in the book we interviewed Roger Goodell, John Harbaugh, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Jason Witten, Anquan Boldin , Troy Palomalu Joe Flaco. We interviewed these guys and we said talk to us about identity. What does identity mean to you? Can you articulate that?

Nobody can deny these guys are great football players and probably most people had a pretty good idea that these were good guys even if you didn’t know anything about them. You see him, he’s got something to him, he seems like a really good guy. These guys were so awesome and so excited to talk about these things. You could tell.

Maybe they hadn’t specifically been through these seven choices but when you ask one of these guys what’s your identity and Jared Allen says football, that’s just what I do, that’s not who I am. These guys have put some thought into this. To be a great football player and to be successful in the NFL for a long period of time, it takes a lot more than talent.

There are a lot of talented guys out there. There’s more to it than that, a big thing being the character and the development of virtue. These guys are just great men, first and foremost, before they’re great football players. They do a great job. Just ask them, talk about your identity, talk about your purpose. These guys just being themselves do a great job of illuminating the importance of these seven choices.

Matthew:  Thank you for writing the book. I encourage everybody to go out and get a copy of it as soon as it’s available.

I’ve been speaking with Matt Birk, NFL great and now author and speaker. You can order Matt’s new book “All Pro Wisdom: The Seven Choices That Lead to Greatness,” at amazon.com and check out allprowisdom.com.

Matt, I think, is looking to speak to men’s groups and to reach out in various ways. You can get a hold of him through that website.

My name is Matthew James Christoff and you can learn more about the New Emangelization project at NewEmangelizationproject.com.
Transcription by CastingWords