- (Photo: Iamsecond.com via The Christian Post)
At one point, Pittsburgh Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda felt anger towards God thinking that his football dream may not come true after years of sleeping under an NFL banner over his bed.
The NFL star recalls in “I Am Second” his younger years as a kid when he felt “God gave me passion for sports, and He made me good at it. I enjoyed being that kid who was the best at everything growing up.”
“I thought it was me that was so fast. I thought it was me that was so coordinated. I thought that was about me … and that lasted through about seventh or eighth grade, and I was forced to grow up.”
While he was in high school he noticed a growth spurt in other athletes except himself and it made him question his faith. “I was frustrated. I didn’t have what I wanted. I was really questioning my faith.”
In the video testimony that is meant to inspire people to live for God and for others, Sepulveda shared about his lonely nights when he cried in his room because he didn’t feel there were other options for him.
“It was a dark time in my life, and I didn’t handle it very well,” he says in the video. “Here I was not getting recruited at all. Not getting phone calls. I didn’t have any options. My option was walk on wherever it be.”
While he attended Baylor University he tried playing linebacker but realized that it wasn’t for him. He later became interested in the punter position but he later realized that he didn’t like it. After considering quitting his coach encouraged him to stay and after great success he received the Ray Guy Award in 2004 and 2006 as the top collegiate punter.
It was then when Sepulveda saw that his dream as a boy of playing in the NFL – planted inside him when his dad placed the banner over his bed in third grade – might come true. In the fourth round of the 2007 NFL draft he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He was ranked seventh among NFL punters with a 45.5 yards-per-punt average before suffering a season-ending knee injury on December 5.
“It’s very clear to me that I was never in control,” said Sepulveda. “God was in control of my life. He guided my path. He gave me that passion for playing sports when I was young. That wasn’t mine. That was His. He ripped it from me in high school so I would learn to be humble, so I would develop character as a young man, so when He blessed me with this dream of the NFL that I would understand and recognize that it is His name that needs to be glorified.”
The movement “I Am Second” launched in 2008, hosts Christian celebrities in any field of the entertainment industry who share their personal challenges and struggles in the search for a meaningful life through finding Christ.
Some of the celebrities that have participated in the videos include Grammy Award winner Michael W. Smith, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and sports stars Bradie James, Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford and Josh Hamilton.
Since its launch, the movement has drawn more than 14 millions views and visits from over 200 countries.