Good Morning. My name is Darren McCarty and I am a proud Christian. Most of you know me through the Detroit Red Wings, a member of the Grindline and 4 time Stanley Cup Champion…..Wow, as I was writing this I could hear the good Lord whispering, Nice display of humility DMac…Really, in my house and on my day, you never cease to amaze me but you are forgiven, I love you. Let’s please work on that. And with that brief interaction I think you get a feeling of the relationship I have with GOD. He is not only my creator but my closest roaddog, greatest teacher and most loyal friend. My faith in GOD is the backbone of MY life. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Let me take you back to my childhood and my religion growing up.
I was raised Protestant and I went to Sunday School and church, which was actually in the backyard of my grandparents’ house. I remember learning hymns like Jesus Loves Me and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. We learned about GOD and Jesus in the Bible like most people. I was lucky because my mom remarried and we moved to a town 50 times larger. I made numerous friends of Italians, Portuguese and Lebanese fellas through school and sports. As most young kids growing up you have a group of probably 12 that play sports either at school or in the community. You develop friendship, families become intertwined and in doing so was introduced to Catholicism. I remember we would have sleepovers, whether it was hockey or baseball season. One weekend you’d go with this family to St. Mikes, the next weekend another family to St. Josephs, or maybe it was the summer you stayed at the family with 7 kids that were Mennonite. I learned everything about different sects of Christianity, even read about other religions but the bottom line is GOD is always GOD, you name it. No matter what. History and the Bible have always peaked my curiosity. As I learned and listened more I can understand the magnitude of what different holidays and dates on the calendar mean. I am very proud that my children are Catholic and all attended St. Regis Elementary School.
Speaking of family, my grandfather was the most important male in my life. He told me a lot of wisdom but what I remember most is ---If you want to talk to GOD, pick up your red phone. He’ll always answer, maybe not when you want but when you need. And #2----What you do is not who you are. Both have always stuck with me in my life from a very young age. That’s why my relationship with my GOD has grown stronger and stronger as I’ve gotten older. It’s gone more from me asking to save my tail, if you get me out of this one, I’ll never do it again, to showing Him with my actions. When I look back on my path in not only sports but life, it’s quite apparent that I’ve had some extreme highs and lows. It has always reminded me of probably my favorite part of the Bible…it’s Samuel Chapter 17 the story of David and Goliath. We all know the gist of underdog beating favorite, the little guy defeating the bigger fella. We all know that in the literal text and with the profession I played it happened more often than not. Especially 3/26/97. As my Uncle Jack who played minor pro and became a minister says “GOOD LORD says it’s better to give than receive”. I learned that one honestly unfortunately. In verse 44 45 as I mentioned before in what you do is not who you are. I like anyone else have had many problems or issues in my like. I like to say “been there, done that, got the t-shirt, Next.
My point is, only difference between you and me might be I put my right leg in my pants first. Bottom line is life keeps moving and Goliaths come in many forms, but can always be defeated, through GOD anything’s possible. I live daily and through it all He’s always been there and taken care of me. There are signs everyday if you open up and pay attention. Again when I say I’ve been blessed, through everything I feel like I am ahead of the game.
This brings me to my last story. That’s because GOD gave me clarity and sent me an angel in a desperate time of need in my life. I can be honest and say I was not proud of what I was becoming, let’s put it this way, if you are anything but an olive I can probably get addicted to it. I was real low and picked up my red phone and GOD was there. A few days later I made a trip I was planning on not going. Long story short I met that woman in the Kid Rock song “She wore blue jeans and a rosary. Yeah, she did have blue jeans and a rosary when I met her no fibbing. Wouldn’t you know it. We have been together 6 years and just celebrated our 4th anniversary. We have been through a lot of tough times together but as Sheryl says 2 is better than 1 and I agree because YES JESUS LOVES ME YES JESUS LOVES ME YES JESUS LOVES ME..THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.
I want to thank you for including me today. It has been a great honor and another part of this journey called Life. I believe it is important for people not to be afraid to be vulnerable and share stories like this. Knowledge is Power and GOD, well he’s just flat AWESOME.