Marcus Padilla shares his passion for his faith, the game of football and the greatest lessons he has learned.
The moment we are born we enter this game of life. This game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score points when you get that opportunity. That opportunity came to me ten years ago and God gave me a very special gift in life. And that is to work for a professional football team right here in the Bay Area.
I was born and raised in the small city called Stockton, California. My father who is a huge football fan, as a child he would take me to football games every year. And my love for the game grew because of him. Originally, I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps into a career in pharmacy, but deep inside I had that passion for video production. I wanted to tell stories.
In 2008, I graduated from the University of the Pacific. During that time, I was going through a lot in my life: heartbreak, death in the family, struggling to find a job after college. I wanted to work after college already. I couldn’t find that. What I did is go to career fairs, one after the other. There’s one booth in that corner over there, it was like the most popular booth. When I asked a guy, “Sir, do you have any openings for any video production on your team?” He said, “Unfortunately not. We only have ticket sales”. Deep inside I got more angry, and so I just said, “You know, sir, thank you so much. Here’s my resume… Here’s my resume, if there’s any openings, please let me know. Please give me a call.”
And so during that time, during that job search, I prayed to God every single day. So on Tuesday May 6th, 2008, I was really having a bad day for some reason. And around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I received a call, a private phone number, and I answered the phone unknowingly, like “Hello?” and then I asked who it was and they said it’s the Oakland Raiders. The job, a television producer. From then on, my life was faith and football.
You see, in football, the common saying is “Any given Sunday” because you treat each game as if it’s your last game. When I’m on the sidelines doing my thing, doing my thing, I witness players fight for every inch to reach that goal line which is a touchdown. Every game, every play, every inch, every down your eyes are set on the prize. And it all starts with preparation in faith. Now in football, its not about a one man team, not about one guy, it’s about the team. Everyone comes together to make a play a success. I’ve witnessed and I’ve learned that it’s always dedication and patience. Now football requires discipline and good work ethic. Practice, coaches always watch you, what you’re doing at practice. Every play that you do at practice, every play you do at games, you are always evaluated by the coaching staff. And lastly, the team needs to prepare. The way the team prepares for game day is they go to classrooms to learn what the play, learn their opponents who they’re playing that week, listening to their coaches, exercising, making sure your body is healthy for that week. These are all lessons what a team does to prepare for game days.
And lastly, faith. In my career, my faith is always tested because every April, the NFL, they always come out with the schedule of the upcoming games for the upcoming season. What I do, as a church member, I look at the schedule, I look at the cities and dates of where I’m going that fall. So, what I do, I immediately go to incmedia.org to see of there is a congregation in that city. And if there’s not, I would attend here locally and take the first flight out to meet the team.
In 2014, our team was on a losing streak. We started the season 0 and 10. And so, regardless, we never gave up. My job was to continue to inspire the fans through media and for the players, their job was to keep fighting and never lose hope. But September 2014, I had the opportunity to accompany the team to London, England for an international game. So, I planned my worship service schedules, how to get there, and arrange contacts with mutual friends.
But the thing I wasn’t ready for, however, was getting a phone call that my mother was rushed to the hospital. It tore me apart. I didn’t know what to do. I called my father. I said “Dad what’s going on? Should I take the first flight out to go home?” He says “Son don’t worry about it. Do your thing. Take care of everything over there and everything will be ok with your mother.” I broke down to tears when I got off the phone. It was probably one of the biggest decisions in my life. When I was in London, I attended in the congregation of Heathrow, England. The brethren there were so welcoming. They welcomed me with open arms treating me like family and so I appreciate what they did. I felt like home because they welcomed me with open arms, but with constant prayers, I pray to God in that sanctuary in Heathrow, “Please heal my mother. I beg of you to please”. Luckily, after constant prayers, she was discharged before I returned home from London. And I can tell you that ‘til this day, she still is one of my biggest cheerleaders and I love her so much.
As faith and football, I carried these lessons with me out on my game days. My game days are Sundays and Wednesdays. My uniform, it’s a choir robe. My work ethic and preparation are built upon constant practices and prayers. When I’m on the road with the team, I make sure my faith is first. My worship is never interrupted. Thank you very much.