“First and foremost, I’d just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That is what happened tonight.”
Those were the words spoken by Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, 19, in a TV interview after his team the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in the College National Football Championship in Atlanta on January 8, 2018.
Alabama was losing 13-0 at halftime in arguably the most important college football game of the year. With the team’s starting QB struggling, Alabama head coach Nick Saban sent in rookie back-up QB, who up to this point had no significant playing time other than a few reps in games with the score well in hand.
Tagovailoa led Alabama to what some have described as a miraculous 26-23 overtime victory.
With 28.4 million viewers, ESPN reported that it was the second most watched college game since the NCAA instituted the playoff format four years ago.
According to AOL, Tagovailoa was born in Hawaii, where he attended his uncle’s church, Navali Ole Filemu (Message of Peace). When he joined Alabama this year, he started attending Alabama’s largest church, Church of the Highlands, pastored by Chris Rogers.
In the interview, Tagovailoa continued:
“All glory goes to God. I can’t describe what He’s done for me and my family. Who would have ever thought I would have been here, right now at this moment. So you know, thank God for that, and I’d just like to thank my teammates and coach Saban for giving me the opportunity.”
AOL noted that shortly after the interview, Tagovailoa went into the crowd to pray with his family.
So what happened on one of the biggest football stages of the year?
I think God anointed Tagovailoa.
In the Old Testament, God anointed men and women for specific tasks. In the case of Samson, this anointing involved an infusion of the Holy Spirit that increased his physical abilities:
5 Then Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came as far as the vineyards of Timnah; and behold, a young lion came roaring toward him. 6 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done. (Judges 14:5-6 NASV)
There is always a purpose for the anointing. In Samson’s case it was to deliver Israel from an oppressor — the Philistines.
When Jesus spoke to His Disciples just before His ascension, the Lord told them they would be anointed for a different reason:
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASV)
Jesus said the power of God would come upon them to be witnesses, to literally testify that Christ is the Messiah. When the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost, thousands of people were impacted by the power demonstrated that day and became believers. Part of what happened on that day was people speaking in tongues (Acts 2:1-13).
Maybe it was just a coincidence, but in one interview Tagovailoa told the reporter, “I was speaking in tongues, it kept me calm. I would say my poise comes from my faith. I just pray for peace.”
With many on the left demonizing Christians and trying to shut them down on the public stage, God anointed Tagovailoa to testify of Jesus before 28.4 million people.
I used to pray for my favorite football team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, to win. It was not only sad, but for the most part a waste of prayer time. However, I firmly believe God will hear prayers for the anointing to fall upon believers playing in those games, so they can be witnesses.
- Alabama’s freshman backup QB came off the bench to win a title — and gave Jesus the credit after: The Blaze
- Tua credits his ‘Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’ in post-game interviews: Aol
- Alabama-Georgia draws 2nd-largest CFP championship TV audience: Chicago Tribune
- The savior Alabama never knew it needed: Tua Tagovailoa