Ravens faith-based organization

Ravens faith-based organization
December 2, 2012, 12:30 am
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You hear faith and football and maybe your first thought is Faith Hill and her song that introduces each week’s Sunday night game on NBC.

But as coach John Harbaugh indicated in comments after last weekend’s win in San Diego, he feels his Ravens are tied together at least partly by their shared faith.

Referring to Ray Lewis’ pregame speech on the themes of hope, love and faith, Harbaugh said: “Those are three things that bind a football team together and bind a group of people together with each other and with their creator. To see it pay off like that, with that kind of success, is more of a validation of faith and trust in one another and in God. I don’t like to say it too much because I know some people don’t like to hear that, but it’s a big part of who we are as a team."

The team’s website, baltimoreravens.com, explored the subject in a piece this week, speaking with, among others, the team chaplain, Rod Hairston.

“We have a head coach and a general manager whose relationship with God really forms many of their approaches to coaching and leadership,” Hairston said. “It shapes a sense of integrity about how people deal with one another, it shapes a passion for excellence, it shapes the outlook when things look like they aren’t going well.”

Receiver Anquan Boldin said it’s also a matter of balance, giving a player some perspective.

 “I think if all you have is football, you’ll go crazy,” Boldin said. “It gives you a bigger picture. At the end of the day with this game, we’ll be judged by wins and losses. But when we look at the bigger picture, we’ll be judged on how effective we were in the locker room. How many lives did we change? How many people did we influence? I see that now as opposed to earlier in my career.”

The atmosphere with the Ravens also apparently helped make a change with cornerback Cary Williams, who had been something of a malcontent earlier in his career.

“It’s just one of those things where I lean heavily on my faith,” Williams said, “and I believe that God puts us through things that make us stronger, put us through situations so we can bless others.”