When Edgardo Alfonzo, the Mets second baseman and one of the rising stars in baseball, delivers a timely hit, he lightly thumps his fist on his chest and points his index finger to the sky while lifting his eyes toward heaven. After Isaac Bruce, All-Pro wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams, enjoyed a good game against the Minnesota Vikings a couple of years ago, he knew who deserved the credit. "I had a pretty good first half," he noted, "but God really manifested in the third quarter—I had 89 yards!"
For evangelical Christians, Super Bowl XXXIV on January 30, 2000, was the, well, Super Bowl of witnessing. The media simply couldn't resist the story line of Kurt Warner, quarterback of the St. Louis Rams. A benchwarmer at the University of Northern Iowa for four years, Warner had been trying for the better part of a decade to break onto an NFL roster, but he was always deemed inadequate. He worked the graveyard shift as a stockboy for the Hy-Vee supermarket in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for $5.50 an hour. He was turned down by the Canadian Football League before catching on with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League. Finally, after years of perseverance, he made the Rams roster in the fall of 1999, where he was penciled in as the backup quarterback.
Injuries to the starter, however, gave Warner his long-awaited opportunity. He took control of the offense, guided the hitherto hapless Rams to the Super Bowl and, in the process, was named the league's most valuable player.