The Edmond Sun

Sports

January 24, 2014

Ohio State Hall of Famer speaks on responsibility, blessings

Spielman addresses luncheon, OC Hall of Fame banquet

OKLA. CITY — Oklahoma Christian University honored six Hall of Fame athletic inductees Friday night and reeled in two-time All-American Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman as a keynote speaker.

Spielman, who played in the NFL with Detroit, Buffalo and Cleveland, did not disappoint anyone with his sincere, unconcealed approach Friday at chapel or at the luncheon preceding the main event.

Students, faculty and friends of the university listened in earnestness to stories of trials Spielman lived through, to how important it is to have a proper prospective on life and the lives of your children.

“If you’re a believer (in Jesus Christ) and an athlete, you have a certain responsibility,” Spielman, the current ESPN college football analyst stated. “Every time you get to play, it’s a gift. You’re honoring your mother, your family, your team. Put those last first and the first last,” he said, referring to Christ’s statements in the New Testament.

He spoke about how his father Sonny was stern, but a very loving father at the same time. Sonny coached Chris in football in high school in Canton, Ohio.

“What I loved about my dad is he treated his players like he did his boys,” Chris noted.

From an athletic standpoint, Spielman isn’t into whether his children lost in a competition, but was the “100-percent effort” given out by his kids.

One of his prized scriptures is I Corinthinans 16:14: “Let all that you do be done in love.”

“You have to do everything in love,” Spielman closed with. “It’s easy to love someone you already love; it’s very difficult to someone you despise.

“If you do everything in love, you can live with great joy.”

More than two years after the death of his wife, Stefanie, of breast cancer at age 42, Spielman juggles parenting, work as an ESPN college-football analyst and numerous appearances to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, established in 1999.

Recently, he added author to his resume’ with That’s Why I’m Here: The Chris & Stefanie Spielman Story — co-written with Bruce Hooley. (Some proceeds from sales will support the fund.)

His most important duty, however, involves raising his children: Maddie, 18; Noah, 16; Macy, 11; and Audrey, 9.

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