Carson Wentz Tells His Faith Story to Author Joshua Cooley for New Book, ‘The Biggest Win’
Six Christ-Following Members of the Super Bowl-Winning Philadelphia Eagles Team Talk to Cooley for ‘The Biggest Win,’ Out July 30
PHILADELPHIA—Carson Wentz was a frontrunner for the NFL’s MVP honor last season, with 33 touchdown passes, which was a franchise record in less than 13 full games, and 3,296 passing yards against only seven interceptions.
These are amazing football stats, coupled with a Super Bowl ring, and the parades, accolades and expectations that come with a championship. But Wentz is grounded in the fact that all that pales in comparison to the bigger picture in life.
For his new book, “The Biggest Win,” premier sports writer Joshua Cooley tells Wentz’s faith story, along with those of five additional members of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles team—Zach Ertz, Nick Foles, Trey Burton, Jordan Hicks and Chris Maragos.
Soon to be released by New Growth Press on July 30, “The Biggest Win” gives athletes and sports fans of all ages a unique, insider’s look into the lives and faith of these champion players. Through the ups and downs of their experiences, Cooley shows how these high-profile athletes remain committed to God’s Word, genuine Christian discipleship and sharing their faith.
The city of Philadelphia was crushed when the superstar quarterback experienced a season-ending knee injury on Week 14 in December 2017. Up until that devastating blow, Wentz was having an incredible game, completing four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards. After Week 14, the Eagles stood at 11-2, and few knew what the setback would mean for the team’s Super Bowl hopes.
In “The Biggest Win,” Cooley writes about Wentz’s life and faith journey that led him to that place.
In April 2016, the chatter was that Wentz could be the overall No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft—but where would he end up? The attention was somewhat foreign to the college football standout from North Dakota. Eventually, Cooley wrote, Wentz had to put the unknown into the hands of the One who knows all things.
“One thing I try and always avoid is to not let it be something bigger than it needs to be,” Wentz says in the book. “Going through the draft process, I don’t know how many times I told people, ‘Hey, it’s just football. It’s still just a game.’”
Ultimately, Wentz prayed that God would send him to where he would grow spiritually and that His hand would guide the process. And God’s hand moved. Two weeks before the draft, the Tennessee Titans traded the first overall pick to the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams. A week later, the Cleveland Browns followed suit, in a seven-pick swap with the Philadelphia Eagles—including the second overall selection.
On April 28, 2016, the Rams drafted Jared Goff first overall, and at No. 2, the Eagles minted Wentz as their franchise quarterback. Once he arrived in the City of Brotherly Love, Wentz saw that God did indeed send him somewhere where he would grow. His new teammates were a small but spiritually vibrant group of Christians who warmly welcomed him.
“They were very open, very loving and very caring,” Wentz remembers. “When we got to know each other, it was challenging in a good way. Like Proverbs [27:17] says: Iron sharpens iron.”
Eagles players have been gathering together for Bible study since at least the early 1990s, when Hall of Famer Reggie White was terrorizing quarterbacks on the field and preaching the Word off the field. During the 2004 season, when the Eagles reached Super Bowl XXXIX, said Ted Winsley, team chaplain since 2002, close to 30 players regularly attended the team Bible study.
As Wentz witnessed his new teammates’ spiritual hunger, he remembered his pre-draft prayer. God had answered in a mighty way, and the rookie was left to marvel at what God had done. Unmistakably divine fingerprints covered everyone’s paths to Philadelphia.
“I definitely got that sense right away, but it took time to truly get a sense of how much he answered my prayer,” Wentz says. “He knocked it out of the park. God is good. I can’t say that enough.”
Wentz also talked to Cooley about how praise is heaped upon NFL players, and how Christians in the sport should handle it in a godly way.
“If we’re all just real and honest, when someone praises us, we like it,” Wentz said. “I’m not going to over-spiritualize it and say I hate it. We do like it. But in those moments, can you flip the switch and make sure all the glory goes to God? Even Jesus, when he was doing miracles—and this is Jesus who is equal and one with the Father—was saying, ‘I praise you God. This is all because of you.’ … If Jesus would even do that, how much more should we make sure that, when we get the praise or the glory, we’re turning it over to the Father?”
“The Biggest Win” combines biblical truths with practical direction on issues that every Christian faces, including dealing with adversity, competition, change, success, failure, and how to thrive by faith in a pressurized world. Encouraging male and female athletes in any sport, “The Biggest Win” guides them in finding their ultimate identity in Christ, not their athletic achievements, and assures them that their greatest prize is eternal life.
A percentage of the book sales from “The Biggest Win” will go to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a nearly 65-year-old international sports ministry with a vision to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
Cooley is also the author or co-author of “The One Year Devotions with Jesus: 365 Devotions to Help You Know and Love the Savior,” “Heroes of the Bible Devotional: 90 Devotions to Help You Become a Hero of God!” and “The One Year Sports Devotions for Kids.” He also co-authored Nick Foles’ forthcoming memoir, “Believe It,” which is scheduled for release in late June.
New Growth Press (NGP) publishes gospel-centered, Bible-based materials that provide churches, families, and individuals with resources for personal and spiritual growth and change. The growing Christian publisher produces a wide variety of gospel-centered resources for individuals, families and churches. NGP also publishes books, minibooks, small group and Gospel Story for Kids resources that provide churches, families and individuals with gospel-driven publications for all ages.
“The Biggest Win” is available now for preorder at Amazon.com or ChristianBook.com. View the media page for “The Biggest Win” here, or visit joshuacooleyauthor.com/the-biggest-win or the New Growth Press page at newgrowthpress.com/the-biggest-win.