Eli Herring Story

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Sandy Koufax

Well, Sandy (Koufax) would love a kid named Eli Herring, a 340-pound offensive tackle for Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. In his senior year Herring sported a 3.5 grade-point average and was judged a top senior offensive tackle in the pro draft. But Herring, a devout Mormon, turned down a possible multimillion-dollar deal with the Oakland Raiders because he, too, won't play on a holy day. Unfortunately his holy day, Sunday, comes up once a week, just when the Raiders buckle on their equipment and go to work.

Herring meditated intensely over his dilemma. He could sign up with the NFL, play ball on Sundays and fill his life with fancy cars and houses, or he could teach math for $20,000 a year and honor the Sabbath. Herring's answer was to honor the Sabbath. He announced to the NFL that if he were drafted, he wouldn't serve.

Wow! Talk about a role model for kids adrift in a cultural sea of avarice, especially in sports. But what about his financial future? Well, to people like Herring a blessing from above is better than a bank account. Hey, as the country-gospel song says, "You can't be a beacon if your light don't shine."

—Ted Roberts in The Wall Street Journal

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Submitted by Marianne in Rock Springs:

At the time Eli Herring turned down this great offer, he did an interview with one of the Denver papers, I think the Post. Anyway, he talked about the Sabbath and what it meant to him, what his parents had taught him. It was so good. I saved it for a long time and then I lost track of it. I wish I still had it because the wording was so good. Anybody else have it, by chance? I remember he mentioned that Sunday used to be called (I think) The Holy Sabbath of the Lord, and it was treated as such. He went on to say that now we call it the weekend and people just don't respect it. I'd be grateful if someone has this and would post it.