Q & A: Tony Dungy
The Indianapolis Colts head coach retired from the NFL in January. In response, Tyndale House rushed into print the 2007 Super Bowl champion's second book, Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance.
Today's headlines suggest we are seeing the fruit of a widespread failure in character formation. Why?
It stems from the breakdown in the family structure. We have so many young men, especially, who are growing up without their dads. We have to fill that void. We have to do a better job helping young people see what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman. And then, somehow, we have to put that family structure back together. People have to understand how important it is for kids to be nurtured by their mom and dad and get the great role modeling when they are young. Maybe a generation ago, [the devaluation of the family] was looked at as being different or strange, and now we have accepted it. It's been promoted in our media. Kids think that's the norm.
Having left the NFL, how are you going to get your message out?
If I had my choice, it would be a lot more one-on-one, hands-on mentoring. Frankly, my job just took way too much time. Once I got past my work and my family, I didn't have enough time to do [mentoring]. I realized the platform I had as a head football coach in the NFL, but the Lord is taking me in a different direction. I didn't plan to retire just to do nothing. I'm going to pick these ministries pretty carefully, pray about it, and find the best way to maximize the time I have now.
Your book talks about character qualities needed in our lives. What's the connection between faith and virtue?
Virtues are great to have. We all want to be good citizens and do the right thing. But without faith at the core—faith and understanding that you are put on this earth by God for a reason—it can be pretty hollow. If you don't have faith, I don't know where [virtue] comes from.
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