A little bit, anyway.
In an in-depth piece on "The roots of Kirk Cousins' uneasy marriage with the Redskins," ESPN The Magazine allows the NFL quarterback — known for his "You like that!" rallying cry — to talk about his "Lord."
Based on the context, I'm assuming Cousins' Lord must be Jesus.
But strangely enough, ESPN never actually elaborates on the quotes.
So if the glass half-full or half-empty here? You tell me.
To make a case for half-full, this is, after all, a sports article, not a theological exploration. Even if the first holy ghost shows up in the first sentence.
A big chunk of the opening:
KIRK COUSINS WAS glowing. He'd spent months praying and patiently waiting for a moment like this, and now it had improbably arrived on Dec. 16, 2012. With their playoff hopes on the ropes, the Redskins had turned to the rookie backup in desperation after starter Robert Griffin III injured his knee. Cousins responded in his first career start by throwing for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a comeback win against the Browns.
The visitors locker room in Cleveland was buzzing. Cousins was standing by his locker, receiving celebratory handshakes and backslaps from teammates, when Redskins owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen entered the room-and essentially breezed right past him. Snyder, according to a witness, patted Cousins on the shoulder and kept walking.
Snyder and Allen were on their way to see Griffin, the dynamic multi-threat quarterback who was seen as maybe the future of the NFL. Griffin seemed annoyed that the team had given the start to Cousins, and would later confess as much to reporters. He felt his knee was healthy enough for him to play; the team's medical staff felt otherwise. Snyder and Allen were aware of the tension and sought to reassure Griffin that no matter what Cousins did, RG3 was still the Chosen One. Cousins is polite and charming but also a fiery competitor who has been dismissed his entire football career as "just a guy." On that day, he soaked up the scene and tried not to let the snub bug him. His teammates, however, were furious. When head coach Mike Shanahan heard what happened, he paid a visit to Snyder's office. "Kirk is a strong guy, and he can handle it, but his teammates are pissed at you," Shanahan says he told Snyder. "That's not the way you handle things. If you do that, you run the risk of losing the football team in the future."
Much later, as ESPN contemplates Cousins' future with the Redskins, the faith angle creeps into the piece:
When Allen went to visit Cousins in Michigan this offseason to persuade him to sign a deal, Cousins looked him right in the eye and told him it wasn't about the money. He was going to play under the franchise tag again. "I prayed about it and said, 'Lord, what do you want to do?'" Cousins said this offseason at Liberty University's convocation. "I just didn't feel a peace about signing a long-term contract. I think the Lord communicates to us in many ways, and one of those ways is through his peace. I just didn't feel a peace. I do believe that the Lord, at least in my life, he likes to use one-year contracts, not long-term contracts, if you will."
Keep reading, and mention is made of the "miracle" that Cousins' athletic career happened at all, and the idea that "his faith would eventually reward him." Cousins talks about "the compass that points north."
That's a whole lot of faith talk, culminating with this:
In the car on the way home, he had tears running down his cheeks. He'd worked so hard to get here, he told his father, and now his dream of playing college football was circling the drain. "You don't know that," Don Cousins told his son. "But you do have a decision to make: Are you going to try and control your future, or are you ready to surrender your future to the Lord and let him do as he pleases?"
Cousins traded in his cast for a walking boot. He prayed a lot, finding particular solace in Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."
But on the half-empty side, there is zero mention of terms such as "church" and "Christian" in this story. There is that one vague reference to Cousins' "faith."
All in all, Cousins' faith certainly isn't ignored — but it isn't engaged either.
You like that?