Tonight as Iâ€™ve been sitting writing about 200 or so Christmas cards to those who have joined my team of ministry partners Iâ€™ve been watching the NFL Networkâ€™s coverage about the passing of Tony Dungyâ€™s (the coach of the Indianapolis Colts) son, James. Here is an email that the AIA staff at headquarters sent all of our staff today:
James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, was found dead in a Tampa-area apartment, police said Thursday.
In a news release on its Web site, the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office said it “responded to the Campus Lodge Apartments this morning at approximately 1:32 a.m. The girlfriend of James Dungy had returned to the apartment and discovered Dungy.”
Police performed CPR on Dungy before he was taken to University Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Tony Dungy has left the Colts and is in Tampa, according to NFL.com.
The coach and his wife, Lauren, have four other children: daughters Tiara and Jade and sons Eric and Jordan.
The Colts (13-1) are at Seattle on Saturday.
My prayers go out to the Dungy family. What has been crazy as Iâ€™ve watched this coverage today is how Tony Dungyâ€™s faith has been brought into the media. At the start of the NFL Networkâ€™s Total Access they included a taped prayer from Deon Sanders before the Baltimore Ravens practice today. It was a deep and heartfelt prayer, and Jesus was at the center piece of it. Hearing many NFL players and coaches talk about Tony Dungyâ€™s faith in Christ reminds me of one of Jesusâ€™ parables:
â€œEveryone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.â€ Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
From what I have read over the years and from what Iâ€™ve heard said today watching some coverage of this it appears evident that Tonyâ€™s life has been built on the rock of a relationship with Jesus. I pray that he and all of those out there that have suffered loss will find their strength and solid footing in a relationship with Christ during these storms of life.