"Gospel music and NFL. Wassup, Wassup, Wassup?," Yolanda Adams whooped during the sixth Super Gospel Bowl Celebration on Jan. 30.
Who says God and football don’t mix? The Super Bowl game event, infamous for attracting people from the church pews to the stadium stands, strikes a somewhat compromise with Christianity as the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration took place at the Reliant Arena in Houston, presented this year by the makers of St. Joseph aspirin and sponsored by American Family Insurance.
The stadium was booming gospel music as Patti LaBelle took the stage. LaBelle was in Houston earlier this month for the Stellar Gospel Music Awards along with other artists who also appeared on Friday’s Gospel Fest including Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary. John P. Kee and Dorina Clark-Cole also performed.
The Gospel concert was inspired by Christian NFL players who wanted a more family-oriented event to take place during the Super Bowl weekend. This year co-host and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter, Fred Weary and Jamie Sharper of the Texans, Antwaan Randle El of the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets running back Curtis Martin.
Clark-Cole kicked-off the event which many considered a substitute for the service they would miss on Sunday.
"This ain't church, but we've got gospel music," said retired Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter.
Whether or not the legitimacy of the service holds true, Clark-Cole and the backing choir delivered the message of God through the song I Am Still Here (By The Grace of God). The choir then switched to a funk-beat I'm Coming Out with dancers to liven the atmosphere.
John P. Kee, who formed his first choir at the age of 13, sang In This House backed by a youth choir and a five-man band.
A portion of the proceeds from 2004 Gospel Bowl will benefit Project WAVE, a Houston-based, non-profit HIV/AIDS awareness foundation.