In the News:
By Jeff Call
PROVO, Utah -- In the world of LDS returned missionaries, John Beck is a pioneer of sorts.
Last fall, the former Brigham Young University quarterback, and current member of the Miami Dolphins, became the first returned missionary to start a game at quarterback in the National Football League.
For years, observers have noted that no returned missionary had ever started at quarterback in the NFL, but not anymore. Beck has broken that barrier, having started three games in 2007.
It's little wonder why it's taken so long for that milestone to happen. It's been said that quarterback is the toughest position to play in all of team sports -- especially at the NFL level. Imagine taking two years off from football to proclaim the gospel, which Beck did when, out of high school, he served a mission to Portugal from 2000 to 2002.
Other returned missionary quarterbacks have played in the NFL, such as Ohio State's Joe Germaine and BYU's Brandon Doman, but no returned missionary had ever started an NFL game before Beck came along.
From a young age, Beck wanted to play in the NFL, but he also decided to serve a mission. While those appear to be conflicting goals, he managed to accomplish both. Yet serving a mission took precedence over everything else, including football.
"From the beginning, it was all about going on a mission," Beck said. "One of the reasons was, I want my kids to go. I don't want, down the road, for my kid to say, 'Dad, why didn't you go on a mission?' I felt like it was important for me to go, no matter what."
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Thursday, July 31, 2008
at 4:07 PM