"Ministry Trumps Football"
What You Need To Know:
It’s disappointing that Danny doesn’t get to verbally express his commitment to Jesus Christ in WUERFFEL’S WAY. However, it comes across in many ways other than words. Danny served as a role model for Tim Tebow, another profoundly Christian, Heisman-winning Florida quarterback.
WUERFFEL’S WAY is an ESPN documentary about the life of Heisman trophy winner Danny Wuerffel who went from pro-football player into a ministry to some of the poorest children in New Orleans. While Danny doesn’t get to say much about Jesus in the documentary, Danny’s actions get to speak volumes.
This story of a football player’s life doesn’t begin with scenes of football glory. The documentary opens with Danny Wuerffel returning to a Christian school he helped build in worst part of New Orleans after it was flooded by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. It’s very clear that Danny’s heart has moved from football to ministry. He uses his Heisman Trophy to open doors to get others to help the children.
WUERFFEL’S WAY flashes back to tell of Danny’s high school and college career. His high school coach says that he loves to have a positive impact on the young men he coaches, but Danny is the one who had a positive impact on him. In college, he was the quarterback who helped the University of Florida win its first National Championship. His coach, Steve Spurrier, called Danny the best college player ever.
Danny did not do as well in the NFL. Drafted by the New Orleans Saints, he did not become a star, but he did discover parts of the city that broke his heart. He began to work with an inner city ministry every day after football practice. He eventually bought a house in a part of New Orleans that was flooded by Katrina. In the documentary, you see him return to his house and show the damage.
After the hurricane, he and his wife helped find the 100 boys from the flooded school most of whom he took to Ft. Walton Beach to restart a school. The ministry actually grew to work with existing inner city ministries in several southeastern cities.
It’s a bit disappointing that Danny doesn’t get to verbally express his commitment to Jesus Christ in the program, but it comes across in many ways other than words. Danny served as a role model for Tim Tebow, another profoundly Christian, Heisman-winning Florida quarterback.
ESPN is to be commended for telling such a positive story of a great football player who transitioned from stardom to humble service.