An unlikely kicker for the Chicago Bears is making headlines and thanking God for his success, according to Faithwire.
On Sunday night, 24-year-old Eddy Piñeiro kicked a 53-yard field goal to push the Bears for the win. The Chicago team suffered a rough blow last season after being knocked out of the playoffs with a missed field goal, according to USA Today. The ball ricocheted off of the left upright and bounced off the crossbar, earning the nickname ‘double doink.’ The team became committed to finding a kicker who could bring them back this season.
In his first post-game interview with Fox Sports, Piñeiro said, “For everybody listening, man, if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, you better start, because he’s real. I promise you that.”
Piñeiro seemed an unusual pick this spring for the Bears. After only two seasons with the Florida Gators, he went undrafted last year. But he’s making up for the lost time.
“All offseason long, the story of Chicago was the inability to find a clutch kicker. Today, the story and the answer is you!” a Fox reporter said.
“It felt great,” Piñeiro, who has earned the nickname “Eddy Dinero” by teammates, said in a later interview. “The first thing that came to my mind was just thanking God. It was an emotional kick. My teammates, everyone, just for them, for Chicago, they deserve it.”
Should Piñeiro have missed the kick, many believe he would have lost his place on the team. “‘If this guy misses this kick, he probably can’t kick in Chicago again. If he makes it, he’s a hero with confidence and momentum.’ So that’s all that’s riding on this one kick at the end of the game,” NFL insider Adam Schefter shared, quoting ESPN analyst John Fox.
The ASA College graduate has practiced his faith throughout his time with the Bears. In late August, he posted a photo of himself pointing upward with the caption: “‘So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.’ Matthew 6:34”
He also credits God for being drafted to the NFL team: “I wouldn’t be in this position without my Lord and Savior,” he said.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Nuccio DiNuzzo
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.