Ex-Lions kicker Hanson shares his faith, inspires men

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Detroit — Former Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson told a gathering of Christian men at Grace Community Church Saturday that even working for the “most important sports league in the world” is not enough to satisfy the human soul.

Hanson, 45, addressed more than 125 men and boys at a “Men’s Launch” event, held periodically to encourage fellowship among men who attend the church. Hanson talked about what it was like to be a Christian in the NFL, where he said his faith provided his life with meaning.

“It’s the biggest of the big time in our society, but at some point in your career you bump up with the reality,” said Hanson, in his third year of retirement from the league where he was a kicker for the Lions for 21 years. “Man, it’s good, but somehow it doesn’t satisfy, it doesn’t last. It’s never enough.

“When you’re only as good as your next outing, that’s a bad way to live.”

The married father of three said announcing his Christianity isn’t always the most important way to share his faith. He tries to model his Christianity in the way he lives his life. But he respects players like NFL quarterback Tim Tebow whose public displays of Christianity have gained media attention.

“Sometimes (a public display of faith) isn’t as well-received as you think; other times some people are offended,” Hanson said. “Tim Tebow is right absolutely in his boldness. (He never got up and said his integrity...he lived it.”

Tyler Leggat, 18, of Grosse Pointe, attended Hanson’s talk with his father, Doug Leggat.

“Being that big in something, you can still be missing something,” Tyler Leggat said when asked what part of Hanson’s message resonated most with him. “It doesn’t matter how big and famous you are, you still need Jesus in the end.”