Today’s #TBT Sports Blog features one of my favorite NFL players ever because of his incredible career and unforgettable nickname.
During his 15-year career, the imposing defensive lineman known as the Minister of Defense delivered his football version of a fire and brimstone sermon by the way he dominated opposing offenses.
He’s also #5 in my sports comic book Spiritual Sports Favorites.
An ordained Evangelical pastor, Reggie White embodied his befitting Minister of Defense nickname. Whenever he set foot on the football field, he constantly administered defensive pressure; and when away from the gridiron, he tirelessly catered to the needs of inner-city youth and those less fortunate through his work as a Christian minister.
NFL.com rated White as the #7 NFL player of all-time, and his storied career validates the lofty choice.
White graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1984 after being named SEC Player of the Year during his senior season. The Minister of Defense then played two years in the now defunct USFL with the Memphis Showboats, earning the 1985 USFL Man of the Year Award.
After the USFL folded, White proceeded to the NFL and starred for the Philadelphia Eagles (1985 – 1992) and Green Bay Packers (1993 – 1998) before retiring in 2000 after his final season with the Carolina Panthers.
During his NFL career, this Minister of Defense played as if his bully pulpit was his unstoppable bull rush into the offensive backfield. Plus, he reaped an earthly award by winning a 1997 Super Bowl XXXL title with the Green Bay Packers.
The Minister of Defense proved why he personified his respected title. He was awarded the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in both 1987 and 1998 and was named 1st team All-Pro 10 times.
White ended his career as the NFL’s all-time sack leader with 198, a record subsequently broken by Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills. White also became a first ballot NFL Hall of Fame inductee in 2006.
Sadly, the Minister of Defense answered to a heavenly calling when he passed away prematurely from a respiratory disease in 2004.
Reggie White is best memorialized by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, “Reggie White was a gentle warrior who will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history.
Equally as impressive as his achievements on the field was the positive impact he made off the field and the way he served as a positive influence on so many young people.”
And all football fans say, “Amen.”
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!