Faith Pulled Falcons Linebacker Vic Beasley Jr Through Hard Times, Even a Super Bowl Loss
When the Falcons lost Super Bowl XXIII to the Denver Broncos in 1999, Vic Beasley, Jr. cried. His father was there to comfort him. When Beasley played in Sunday’s Super Bowl LI for the Falcons, Vic Sr. wasn’t there. His death has been just one in a series of personal losses that have rocked the life of the young linebacker.
Even before he stepped on the field, though, Vic Beasley, Jr. showed he can take the hard knocks. And credit goes to his strong faith in Christ.
Holding On Through Faith
Shortly before Beasley’s final season at Clemson, his older brother was killed in a car accident. Later that season, cancer claimed the life of Beasley’s uncle and pastor, who had been a major influence on the athlete. Then last April his father died at the age of 53 from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism.
Through it all, Beasley held onto Christ. He could be found on the couch reading his Bible, while waiting for a ride to practice. After practice, he’d drive to the hospital to be with his dad and spend the night there with him. “I think the thing that has made it bearable is that Vic is so strong in his faith,” said Eric Bishop, an assistant coach at Beasley’s high school.
Honoring Vic Sr.
Beasley didn’t resent his father for his alcohol problem; he revered the man who had taught him how to play football, and had installed a set of weights on the back porch so he could work out. He honored Vic Sr. by adding the suffix “Jr.” to his Clemson jersey. Beasley told ESPN last summer that he thought his father would beat the cirrhosis. “I just kept the faith,” he said. “He struggled with it for a while and fought for a long time. It’s just sad to see your dad go. I’m at peace because my dad taught me so much, and I’ll always have memories of what he did for me.”
Beasley knows how his father, who had played safety at Auburn, would have reacted to his son playing in the Super Bowl for the Falcons. “I just know he would be jumping out the room,” Beasley said. “He’d be jumping up through the walls right now. He would be so excited for me.” But regardless of the game’s outcome, Beasley’s father was in his heart and on his mind.
“God Makes No Mistakes”
“You know, God makes no mistakes,” Beasley continued. “I’m not complaining about my dad not being here. That would be selfish on my part. I know God has grace, so he’s in the right place right now. I’m just glad that my dad spent so much time with me and developed me into the man I am today.”
Following the Falcon’s 34-28 stunning and historic overtime loss to the Patriots at Super Bowl LI Sunday, Beasley was in good spirits. After all, he knows Who is in control.
Beasley tweeted, “Some things in life you never FULLY UNDERSTAND!!! BUT in the midst of all God is still good! #thankuATL.”
Some things in life you never FULLY UNDERSTAND!!! BUT in the midst of all God is still good! #thankuATL
— Vic Beasley (@VicBeasley3) February 6, 2017