Super Bowl Champion Becomes Champion of God

Former NFL quarterback Elvis Grbac shares football memories and recommitment to Catholicism.

Trent Beattie  |  National Catholic Register

With the Pro Bowl coming this weekend and the Super Bowl the following weekend, Elvis Grbac can look back and remember two of his top football achievements. The six-foot-five quarterback was selected to the Pro Bowl while with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001 and won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.

Despite reaching the pinnacle of the football world, Grbac knows there are more important things. Although a lifelong Catholic, he has in recent years become more closely involved with Jesus and his Church. The Cleveland, Ohio, native is currently studying for a master’s degree in theology at St. Mary Seminary in nearby Wickliffe, Ohio, and plans on becoming a deacon.

While Grbac can name some of the best football players ever as former teammates (Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders and Desmond Howard are examples), he travels the country to speak to youth and men’s groups in the hopes that audiences will be able to rattle off the names and “stats” of Catholic “teammates” just as readily. St. Peter, St. Athanasius and St. Augustine are prime examples of Christian holiness that Grbac finds helpful today.

As the NFL prepares to go bowling in the next two weeks, Elvis Grbac gives Register readers a view of what the NFL is like on the inside and how the sacramental life in Catholicism surpasses anything a football player could hope for.