Christians and fans of the NFL remember David Patten for his conduct on and off the field after dying in a motorcycle crash.
David Patten played American Football in the NFL for nearly 12 years, where he won the Super Bowl three times. Patten signed on with the New York Giants in 1997 and stayed with them for three seasons before moving on to play for the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints.
He made news in 2001 when he made several iconic catches during the New England Patriots' 24-17 win over Pittsburgh. Patten played in 147 NFL games and caught 324 passes for 4,715 yards and 24 touchdowns. After retiring from the NFL, Patten served in leadership roles in other organisations, even going on to found a church called AWOL Ministries.
According to local patrol officers, Patten caused a crash with two other vehicles after he crossed the median line, injuring at least one other driver.
"It breaks my heart to hear of David's tragic passing at such a young age," said Patten's former coach Bill Bellicheck in a statement to the Associated Press. "I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions."
During Patten's years, his faith was an integral part of his conduct. Patriot owner Robert Kraft noted that Patten was "a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his ministry. David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher. In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl champion."
In a 2019 interview, Patten told Prime Sports Talk that while he had attained notable success in football, he wanted his fans to remember him as a man of faith. "Everybody remembers me as the three-time Super Bowl Champion," Patten admitted. "But, I truly believe that my desire and how God elevates me that when people remember me, they will remember me as the next great preacher."