Athlete Profiles:

Gary Sheffield

Many people have had a lot to say about Gary Sheffield through the years, but Gary sat down with Braves' team chaplain, Tim Cash, to help us see just exactly who he is.

Tim Cash: Right or wrong, some people still do not trust the new Gary Sheffield. How do you respond to those people?

Gary Sheffield: I actually like it! It gives me a chance to prove them wrong and show them that the new Gary Sheffield is for real. Eventually they are going to have to see that I am not involved in the things I used to be involved in and realize I am a changed man!

Cash: When it's all said and done and your career in baseball comes to a close, what is the one legacy you want to be remembered for?

Sheffield: Being remembered for your baseball accomplishments is great, but I've never been one who thinks I have to make it to the Hall of Fame to be successful. I want people to see that I touched many lives in and out of the game in ways that had nothing to do with baseball. I want to be remembered as someone who cared about people and walked with Jesus!


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Tim Tebow

TEBOW / MCCOY
As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.

Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.

An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."

Shaun Alexander

ALEXANDER
Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."

Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."

The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.

The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?

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