The Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosted David Akers, the Philadelphia Eagles’ all-time leading scorer, on April 5 at Cairn University.
Kicker Akers, a 2017 Eagles Hall of Fame inductee, made six Pro Bowls and twice led the NFL in scoring during his 16-year career, 12 seasons of which were spent in Philly.
Reminding the audience that “You will have trials in this world,” Akers explained how his Christian faith and the “3 Ps”– perseverance, perspective and personnel – served as his life’s encouragement.
An undrafted free agent out of Louisville, Akers was cut three times. His NFL debut was a nightmare of two missed field goals and having his first kickoff returned for a touchdown in a loss. Akers had to persevere in order to have future success.
A missed field goal that ultimately led to a loss against the New York Giants helped to teach Akers perspective. “I had to let it go. I’m not going to be the perfect husband, father or employee,” he admitted. “I need to strive for perfection, but we need to realize that we’re not going to be perfect.” He encouraged the audience to focus on the eternal over the temporal.
“The team around you,” was Akers’ final point. “I was very fortunate to learn through a combination of different kickers,” Akers said. “The first was John Kasay who changed my technique. Then being able to kick with Morten Andersen and seeing how a guy, at age 38, performed on a daily basis. I lived with Norm Johnson my rookie year so I was able to see his daily preparation.”
The event featured a raffle, a trivia contest and testimonies from two local student-athlete standouts. CB East senior quarterback Evan O’Donnell, a Catholic University-commit, shared, “One of my life goals is to influence someone doing the thing I love, and that is playing the game of football. It happened a lot earlier than I thought it would.”
Emma Loving, a junior soccer player at Penn, led CB East to the state title game during her All-American senior year. Her attendance at a Christian sports camp permanently shaped her outlook.
“One thing I didn’t necessarily realize was how I could find the intersection of sports and faith. I learned the ‘I am third’ model,” she told the audience. “God is first, others are second and I am third. Like Evan touched on, I learned the true meaning of sports is glorifying God.”