The New Orleans Saints won their season opener in dramatic fashion — defeating the Tennessee Titans 16-15 at the Caesars Superdome — but it was linebacker Demario Davis who stole the spotlight after the game with an amazing story of faith.
Instead of talking about Sunday’s Week 1 win, Davis, who led all players with 10 tackles, took five minutes to thank God after his 4-year-old daughter Carly-Faith quick recovery after she had suffered a seizure just two days earlier.
The 34-year-old Davis started the postgame news conference in what he called an “untraditional” way taking out a Bible and reading aloud Revelations 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
"When I tell you I got a chance to hear a knock from God," he said. “And what I want to share is, we get to play this game, and it's great. And there's so many amazing things that happened in that game. And everybody wants to hear about them.”
Davis then talked about the “knock” he had heard.
"She started to foam at the mouth,” Davis said when recalling his daughter’s seizure. “It was her worst seizure. For 30 minutes, she seized, she wouldn't come, and we had to call the paramedics.”
The Saints official account on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, even posted video from Davis’ post-game appearance before reporters. The team even posted the five-minute video to its website. The video went viral within hours and spread across social media on Monday.
"I didn't ask for my daughter to make it through, I'm asking that she's better than before... God gave me just what I was asking for plus some. I was blown away."— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 10, 2023
Demario Davis tells a beautiful story about his faith and family 💛 pic.twitter.com/H1puxwpJpy
Davis, a practicing Christian, was drafted by the New York Jets in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and played college football at Arkansas State. Davis' mother gave birth to him when she was just 16 and his father was a career enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army. Davis joined the Saints in 2018 and was named to the Pro Bowl last season for the first time.
Davis said while his wife Tamela rode in the ambulance with Carly-Faith, he drove behind to the hospital. Carly-Faith is the same daughter who had survived a rare form of cancer called retinoblastoma when she was 10-months old.
Once there, Davis said, "we prayed and we prayed and she had medicine, and my wife and I had to stay overnight at the hospital. In the middle of the night, probably about 3 o'clock, I heard a knock. And the knock was my daughter. I said, ‘God, let this be just be an attack from the enemy that's just trying to be a distraction, and let him have overplayed his hand and my daughter come back stronger than before.’”
Davis said his daughter, who suffers from epilepsy, talked in the middle of the night “clearer than she was talking before.”
"And I just started saying, ‘Praise God, praise God.' The next morning, my daughter was just so sharp,” he added.
Davis connected the Bible verse with his harrowing experience. .
“When we leave this game, we go back to being regular people,” he said. “And regular people are living life, and people are waiting for a knock. And the word says Jesus is knocking at the door; all you got to do is get up.”
Davis said it often takes his daughter days to recover after a seizure. Instead, she was fine the following day. He said he was “blown away” by the power of prayer.
“At that point, I knew, the game was going to take care of itself,” Davis said.
In a column on Monday, Rod Walker of The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate noted that Davis “probably wouldn’t have been able to get through the 48 hours leading up to Sunday’s season-opening game against the Tennessee Titans. And without Davis, the Saints probably wouldn’t have come away with the 16-15 victory.”
Saints linebacker Pete Werner told the newspaper he had no idea Davis had gone through the ordeal.
“Man, we didn’t even hear about that in the locker room,” Werner said. “To put that aside and go out and practice and bring the energy that he does and be the leader that he [is] in this building, there’s no other guy that you want to have on your team. I’m blessed to be next to him, blessed to have him on this team.”
Saints head coach Dennis Allen told reporters that it’s easy to forget that pro athletes “are human beings just like everybody else and they go through the same trials and tribulations of life just like everybody else does.”
“Yet, every Sunday, they go out and live their livelihoods out in front of 70,000 people in a stadium or millions of people on a TV audience,” he said. “And they are judged on how they do their job on a daily basis. It’s incredible that these guys are able to do what they are able to do at the level they are able to do it.”
Clemente Lisi is the executive editor at Religion Unplugged. He is the author of “The FIFA World Cup: A History of the Planet’s Biggest Sporting Event” and previously served as deputy head of news at the New York Daily News and a longtime reporter at The New York Post. Follow him on Twitter @ClementeLisi.
This story originally appeared at Religion Unplugged and is republished here with permission.