When Chip was the chaplain for the university of Colorado buffaloes football team, he met some students whose whole world revolved around football. Their goals and their identity were wrapped up in college football. Some of them aspired to be professional players in the NFL. When they graduated and they had no more football, they felt like they had lost everything, even though they had a college degree. Even the players that used their degree to get a job, still felt like half of their identity was gone.
Crush Arena Football
College kids that could not make the cut to the NFL often shows indoor arena football. Chip was the chaplain of the Denver team playing at the Pepsi Center. Most of these players had a more balanced focus to life, but after their “arena” career ended, they had no direction and no other career to fall back on.
Chip Simmons was the chaplain for the Denver Broncos for several years. Sometimes he traveled with the team. His role was to give spiritual guidance to the players. He bonded with many of the players. They had a weekly Bible study and they could call Chip anytime they needed him. He often prayed with them over personal matters. Chip was always sad to see one of his favorite players get traded.
What is the purpose of “After the Game Ministries”?
Sports is a “what have you done for me lately career”. Practice consumes life. Game day, Travel days, all that comes to an abrupt end! One thing that we miss as fan is, what happens to an athlete after their career is over. That’s when we step in. I understand how quiet life can get. People that use to call you no longer call and your self worth can take a hit. Your identity is found in what you have done for most of your life. Part of what we do is help you find a new identity in Christ!
How have you been able to help athletes?
Camaraderie – one thing most athletes will tell you , they miss the locker room first. Relationships. People you are with almost everyday We have weekly bible study, to help preserve that “Locker Room” dynamic. We talk about the bible and Life!
Personal Contact – one on one. Daily talk to current and former athletes. A lot of what I do is on one on one Not a day goes by that I don’t talk to a current or former athlete Help them with life’s questions.
Curriculum – we are in the process of writing a curriculum to help athletes adjust their first year being out of the game. Something we can teach in different parts of the country
High School Kids – we are also working on helping high school athletes those who aren’t recruited find a way to college outside of recruitment! A lot of kids are not getting to college if not recruited