Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson already has a leg up on the best tight end to play the game of football, Tony Gonzalez: Wilson has appeared in, and won, a Super Bowl.
And on Feb. 1, he tried to win his second ring.
The Seahawks fell short, losing to the New England Patriots, 28-24. A disappointing loss featured a controversial play call by Seattle’s head coach Pete Carroll. On the one-yard line with just under 30 seconds to go, the Seahawks elected to run a passing play on second down. The throw was intercepted, and the game ended in defeat for Willson and the Seahawks.
The tight end was held to zero receptions in the Super Bowl, but played a pivotal role throughout the season. He proved to be a key factor in Seattle’s win in the Divisional Round playoffs against the Carolina Panthers, catching 4 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Willson was also on the receiving end of a pivotal two-point conversion in the NFC Championship game.
However, none of those wins can override the Super Bowl loss, which sent 53 players back home to think about that long season that fell one game short of a championship. While Willson will be reflecting on that loss, he has other plans as well.
Willson’s life is more than just football. The 25-year-old Canadian native was raised Catholic and majored in philosophy at Rice University. He enjoys reading Catholic apologists, such as Peter Kreeft. What’s on his shelf for the off-season?
“After the season, I plan on getting to some I have stacked up. One of them is called ‘Spiritual Conferences’ by Father Frederick Faber,” Willson told Trent Beattie of The National Catholic Register.
He also plans on checking out “Cross Training,” an EWTN (Eternal World Television Network) series by Father James Mallon. This show focuses on the “total functioning of mind, body and soul,” a topic he’s been “interested in for years.”
Off the field and on the field, Willson remembers to give glory to God.
“I pray in the end zone before the game, and also at halftime,” Willson told the National Catholic Register. “I thank God for where I’m at and ask for protection and guidance for me and the team.”
He prays the guardian angel prayer, an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a prayer to St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, and also his confirmation saint.
“Prayer helps to calm me down and get the right perspective on life,” Willson said. “Being a Christian is not just a matter of study; it’s about living in Christ. We can’t do that unless we’re praying daily.”
Willson attends Mass with members of the Seahawks, and prays the rosary regularly.
“In addition to the rosary, other things that are great to use include prayer cards, scapulars and holy water,” Willson said. “They’re not only expressions of our faith, but means for increasing our faith.”
Luke Willson is an active member of Catholic Athletes for Christ, an organization for athletes to spread their faith and share the Gospel through their sports.