Faith In The EndZone


Photo Credit: NFL

Scott Hanson serves as host of NFL RedZone, as well as co-host of NFL Network’s NFL Total Access along with Lindsay Rhodes. In addition to his responsibilities for NFL RedZone and NFL Total Access, Hanson also serves as a host for NFL Network’s on-location coverage of such events as Super Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Draft, free agency and more.

Hanson joined NFL Media in 2006 as a national reporter covering all 32 teams. He transitioned into studio hosting in 2008, and was named the host of NFL RedZone during its inaugural season in 2009.

Produced by NFL Network, NFL RedZone whips around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments live and in high definition. NFL RedZone and Hanson are widely praised by the fans and media.

Hanson graduated Cum Laude from the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University while playing football for the Orangemen. Hanson and his teammates were a combined 20-4 during his Junior & Senior years.

His other broadcasting stops included Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, WFTS-TV (ABC) in Tampa, WICS-TV (NBC) in Springfield, Illinois and WPBN-TV (NBC) in Traverse City, Michigan.

Outside of his broadcast career, Hanson is passionate about world travel, adventure and serving those in need.

He has run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain… Climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa… Hiked the Great Wall of China… Gone great white shark cage diving in Australia and Mexico… and visited 6 of the 7 continents (with only Antarctica remaining).

He considers these adventures perfect “training” for the heart-pumping action of an NFL RedZone Sunday afternoon!

His involvement with various, worldwide Christian charities has seen him serve the needy in Africa, India, Russia, the Amazon jungle, Haiti, the Philippines, Mexico and domestic locations in the USA.

You can keep up to date with his travel and sports, play by plays by going to NFL Redzone and following him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  


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How did you come to faith and what is your testimony?
I was raised in a religious home. We were at church every Sunday and was raised that faith was important. But it wasn’t a personal relationship. It was more religion and what my parents did. When I went to college, I wanted to live the college life and turned away from the faith when it became my own decision. Whether that was with worship, what I was going to think, or how I was going to live my life. So, I kind of turned away from everything. I thought God wasn’t real, I thought the Bible was fake. I pretty much was living in the world and wanted to do my own thing. I went into my television career and TV was everything to me. You could say TV was my God. TV was going to give me what I thought was going to be my joy, fulfillment, happiness, and purpose in life. But living that way, my life spiraled down and led to the lowest point in my life, when I was about two years out of college. Which was from a breakup over a relationship. I had been seeing a girl, we had gotten serious, and broke up. It was a bad break up and nothing made sense in my life. I came across a movie called the King of Kings. It’s one of the Hollywood accounts of the life of Jesus, from the 1960s. I rented this movie and watched it, though I had no reason to rent this movie. I just knew from my childhood upbringing that this Jesus guy preaches about love, peace, forgiveness, and how he came to change people’s lives. Yet, all of that is missing in my life at this miserable circumstance that I was in. I watched this movie and when the actor portraying Jesus came to the Sermon on the Mount, the words spoke right into my heart. They just made sense to me, became alive to me, and I was like wow, I’ve never looked at this Jesus guy this way before. Keep in mind I’m not a believer at this time, I’m not someone who would profess faith. But these words seemed to make sense, there seemed to be truth to this. So, I started reading the Bible and I began to think He’s real. I ultimately said, ” Ok God, if you can take a life the way these people say, the way this book says, the way Jesus said and change it, redeem it, then here’s mine! I prayed a simple prayer and asked God to come into my life, asked Jesus to be number one in my life, and my life has never been the same! My attitude towards my own life changed, my attitudes about God, and the truth of His Word changed. My life has been on a different trajectory ever since. It has been the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me.

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What is your favorite scripture verse and why?
Well, it’s all highlights but I think it would be one that your readers are familiar with and that’s Proverbs 3:5,6. Which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” To me that means a lot of things, to trust in the Lord with all your heart, means He is real, and He is worthy of 100% of our attention, devotion, and obedience. Then it says, “lean not on your own understanding.” That was something I had to come to terms with when I came to faith. I’ve been gifted with many blessings, but, I’m stubborn and pig-headed a lot of times and can easily go my own way. Then it says, “in all your ways acknowledge Him,” meaning acknowledge Him, live your life as if He is real as if His word is real. Acknowledge Him privately, acknowledge Him publicly, and He will make your paths straight. He will show you the direction and ways that otherwise I don’t believe would be available to us. I don’t mean riches, prosperity, or anything else like that. I mean peace, fulfillment, and a purpose in life that we didn’t have before. So, that’s my favorite verse.

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Can you share your experience on your mission trip last summer?
I served with two different ministries, Kenya Children’s Fund and Orphan Outreach. We visited four different schools where I spoke to hundreds of students. The students are all African kids born and raised in Nairobi and the surrounding areas. They love it when a mzungu comes to visit because I look much different from them. Mzungu is the Swahili word for white man, it’s not a prejudicial term but a descriptive term. The fact that I got a chance to tell these kids that I came thousands of miles, not because I would profit from it but because God loves me, I love Him, and He loves these kids. I wanted to share that with them, and you could see that with certain kids it would just click, it meant something special. There were other kids who I’m sure were children of faith who probably thought, “Wow the same God that I worship, the same God that loves me, and that I love. This guy, that came all the way from Los Angeles, CA, loves that same God too.” That shared faith connected us. Now, in terms of a long-term impact, I did some work while I was there and ultimately made a financial contribution that I think will last longer than what was my simple time there.

Phot Credit: NFL

What are some of the things you take on your mission trip for the children?
What I try to do when I travel internationally and go on a mission trip is to bring an entire suitcase full of toys for the kids as well as leave the suitcase behind. I see hundreds of kids throughout my trip and pack small little items where I can give something to everyone. Some of the things I take are balloons, superballs, glow rings, and snap bracelets. In terms of what kids get at school, their provided with food which is one of their foremost needs. The only food they have access to is food that has been disposed of by Nairobi citizens that they get from a garbage dump. In the morning, at school, they get a kind of oatmeal type substance that can be put in a coffee cup and they drink it. It’s a food that can be mass-produced very easily by the school and they have a big supply of it that they cook every morning. They also get a uniform which the kids are very proud of. If you go on my social media accounts, you’ll see pictures of the kids. They love coming to school where they can see their friends, be safe, have shelter, and get a meal. In terms of material possessions like blankets and stuffed animals, I don’t know what type of material possessions they have. I’d be surprised if it is very much. I only went into a couple of homes and those I saw have very little, what they have is very basic. They don’t have electricity and most of them don’t have running water.

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How does your faith impact your life, both professionally and personally?
One of my favorite authors is CS Lewis and he wrote this, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.” That quote encapsulates how I look at my faith. God is not only someone that I look to and turn to, but, by Him and through Him, I experience everything else in the world. My life makes so much more sense when I have my eyes focused on God. So yes, it informs every area of my life, including my television sportscasting which is a very secular career. I believe in being excellent at what I do and being a Christian who talks openly about his faith. A lot of people think Christians are crazy, that their bible thumpers, that they’re this or that and other notions. I think if you do a job in the world and work with people who are at any level or anywhere on the faith spectrum. Yet, you are excellent at what you do, that might give you some credibility. Others may look to your example and say if he or she is a Christian maybe it’s something I should check out, maybe there’s something more to that Christian faith. Because, you may be someone they look up to, admire, work well with, or someone they respect. So, my Christian faith impacts every area of my life.

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Can faith and football, sports in general co-exist? If so, how?
I think faith and football can and do co-exist. Football is about challenges, about winning and losing. It’s about battles that are inside of a game with rules and context. A life of faith is a life where you have challenges, hurdles, questions, doubts, and moments of joy and moments of awe. I think that a life of faith gives context, perspective, and a foundation for any walk of life. Whether it’s a football player, sportscaster, doctor, lawyer, teacher, mom, whatever you do. A life of faith can be and is beneficial to understanding everything else that is going on in the world. It helps you to deal with the ups and downs and put them in perspective.


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Can you tell me about the Discipleship Playbook?
This was something a couple of years ago, that I was approached about by Paul David Tripp, who is a Pastor, Author, and Speaker. He is friends with many of the Philadelphia Eagles players and has become a spiritual leader to some of them. He approached them wanting to start a men’s outreach seeing a great need for the church within sports, especially with male athletes. An outreach that would talk about faith, football, and what it means to be a man in today’s society. So, when setting this up with the Philadelphia Eagles, they expressed interest but wanted to wait until after the season, which was in the summer before 3 football seasons ago. That season they went on to win the super bowl. So, there was a lot of interest in people wanting to be in, around, and involved with the Philadelphia Eagles. Tripp gets a call from the Eagles to proceed forward and I get a call from Tripp. He said, “Hey Scott, we know that you’re a sportscaster and you’re a believer. We’ve seen your posts on social media, would you come on board and MC the event?” So, I came in and kind of helped direct traffic as speakers like Nick Foles, Carson Wentz, and some of these big-time football players spoke about a life of faith within the context of a football career. It was an awesome experience and the Discipleship Playbook is now available online to churches and individuals all around the world.

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In the next 5-10 years, what do you hope to accomplish for God’s Kingdom? What impact do you hope to have?
To be honest, I don’t know if the timeframe really matters to me as much. I would say my same goal ten years from now is the same as one week from now or one month from now. Which, is to be obedient, living a life of faith that I know God would have me live, and be the man God wants me to be. However, that impacts His kingdom or how He uses me to bring glory to His Kingdom is ultimately His work. I just hope to be as Abraham Lincoln was when he responded to one of his advisors on God’s involvement during the Civil War, when said, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

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What do you want your legacy to be?
This might sound kind of churchy but the moment of my last breath on earth and my first breath in eternity, I hope to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.” If I can yield my life to God’s plan and His purpose and if He chooses to use that to impact other people. Then, my life would have been a success whether it ends when I’m one-hundred or whether it ends in a week. I don’t think it’s the years that matter as much as the impact!

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