Despite adding few additional weapons to surround Brett Favre last summer, Green Bay find themselves just 60 minutes away from Super Bowl XLII. To hear the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Wilde tell the tale, the video-pushing evangelism of DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was equally parts prophesy and motivational genius.
Gbaja-Biamila made his pitch, showing head coach Mike McCarthy a clip from a 2006 religious film he’d recently seen. In what the Los Angeles Times called a “sweet, sincere” movie — much like Gbaja-Biamila himself — a perenially losing high-school football team overcomes the odds through faith and in the end (spoiler alert!) beats the local powerhouse.
The film was written, produced and directed by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, teaching pastors at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., and Alex stars as coach Grant Taylor. Made for $100,000 and using volunteers from the Kendricks’ church as actors, the little production ended up grossing over $10 million.
He ordered 300 DVD copies of it and had them overnighted to Lambeau Field. Everyone on staff, from Favre to the front-desk receptionist, received a copy — “We put it in everybody ‘s mailbox (or) locker,” he said — with Gbaja-Biamila footing the bill. Then, during his eight-minute presentation — “We just put him on a time frame,” McCarthy said with a chuckle — Gbaja-Biamila delivered the kicker to his teammates: That he was convinced they were going to the Super Bowl.
“The thing with Kabeer is, at least you know it comes from his heart,” linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “He bought that DVD — Kabeer is definitely one of the cheapest guys I know — and he even said, ‘Obviously me buying these DVDs for you guys, I feel like they can really help you. And I feel like they can help this team.’ ”
However, Gbaja-Biamila admitted initially, several teammates came to him after watching the DVD scratching their heads.
“When people saw it, they said, it didn’t make any sense, it was kind of irrelevant,’ ” Gbaja-Biamila said. “But now when you watch it, this is kind of how the Packers’ (season) has been.