The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback who led Minnesota to a divisional title last season says he listens to worship music in the locker room before games in order to have the proper perspective before he takes the field.
Kirk Cousins, 34, led the Vikings to a 13-4 record and NFC North title last season, including a 33-point comeback against Indianapolis, the largest comeback in NFL history. The Vikings are one of the favorites to win the NFC North in 2024.
Cousins is known as one of the NFL's most intense quarterbacks, a trait he credits to his Christian faith.
"You certainly honor your teammates, you honor your coaches, and you honor your opponent by giving everything you have to the competitive arena," Cousins told the Sports Spectrum Podcast and host Jason Romano. "So for me, I think when you bring that intensity and the fire, I think it is a great witness. And I think it shows just how invested you are, and that you want to do your absolute best. Colossians 3:23 – 'Whatever you do, do with all your heart' – and I'd like to think when I go out there, I'm giving all of my heart."
Cousins says worship music gives him the right frame of mind. His playlist includes artists such as Sonicflood, Hillsong, Bethel, Maverick City Music, Cory Asbury, Matt Maher and Phil Wickham, he said.
"That's really what I listen to in the locker room before games, on the bus, is that type of worship music where you can ... kind of focus your perspective on an eternal perspective and on who God is and His love for you and the trust you're placing in Him," Cousins said. "That's kind of where I want to be mentally and in my heart going into a game. And so I know nothing else I'd rather listen to than worship music in that moment."
Romano also asked Cousins about his involvement in the Netflix Quarterback docuseries. Romano said he found it "fascinating" that Cousins never cursed in the series.
"They slip out from time to time," Cousins said, laughing.
Cousins said he wants to be the same person on and off the field. He wants to, he said, "impact people for eternity" and "share the Gospel."
"I don't believe in compartmentalizing your life," Cousins said. "... People have asked me, 'Do you pray before games?' And I say, 'Well, I do but I also pray in the first quarter, the second quarter, at halftime and the third quarter [and the fourth quarter]."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/David Berding/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.