26 years ago, Raiders picked a player who chose religion over football

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In 1987, the Raiders took a seventh-round flier on Bo Jackson. It paid off. Eight years later, in 1995, the Raiders took a similar chance with a sixth-round pick. It didn’t pan out.

In researching potential selections for Friday’s PFT Live draft regarding the biggest “holy crap” moments in draft history, I stumbled across an item from Jordan Heck of SportingNews.com regarding a selection that was made 26 years ago today.

Former BYU tackle Eli Herring, projected to go no later than round three, told all teams before the draft that he won’t play in the NFL because he doesn’t want to work on Sundays, for religious reasons. The Raiders drafted him anyway. Herring rejected a three-year, $1.5 million deal that was offered to him by Bruce Allen.

“Not that I would not have liked to have been in the NFL, but Sunday is a church day,” Herring said at the time. “One of our guiding principles as Christians is the Ten Commandants and the Lord has told us there and in the scriptures to ‘keep the Sabbath holy.’ The Lord has said that those who do enjoy certain promises, and I just decided that I would be better off in the long run if I obeyed His desires. . . . Though a couple of hundred thousand dollars sure would have been nice.”

While I respect Herring’s position, as someone who works on Sundays throughout the year, I’m concerned. If he’s right, I’m going to hell, just like David Puddy and Elaine.

Then again, I already may be headed there, for plenty of other reasons.

23 responses to “26 years ago, Raiders picked a player who chose religion over football

  1. There’s an old joke that says “The reason most people go to church on Sunday is to pray away the sins they’ve committed on Saturday night.”

  2. While I admire the young man for standing by his convictions and beliefs, isn’t the Sabbath, according to the Bible, Saturday? After all, God rested on the 7th day and the 7th day of the week is Saturday.

  3. Napoleon Kaufman was in that draft class, too. He was the Raiders first rounder iirc. While he did suit up and play for the Raiders he suddenly retired young for the same reason at a time when he was healthy and certainly appeared to have plenty of gas left in the tank.

  4. Salvation is not a result of how good you are. It is there for all who believe in their savior, Jesus Christ.

  5. I may be going to “hell”, but at least I’ll have a lot of friends!

    Hell… It’s a party!

  6. No need to worry on account of football on Sundays. The Sabbath Does start on Friday evening sundown and ends on Saturday evening sundown.

    I do respect Mr. Herring for sticking with his beliefs and foregoing a tidy sum of money.

  7. I’m sure his life with his seven kids has turned out fine, but technically he could have joined the NFL since the Raiders don’t really do any work on Sundays.

  8. weepingjebus says:
    April 23, 2021 at 11:47 pm
    I’m sure his life with his seven kids has turned out fine, but technically he could have joined the NFL since the Raiders don’t really do any work on Sundays.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    They did their work against the Chiefs 40-32 victory in KC. LOL!!!!! You damn right they did their work.

  9. at face value, this appears mind-blowing but isn’t the ultimate reason we dream of of fame and fortune is happiness?

    He has 7 kids, appears to be in good health, and still actively involved in his church. It appears he’s already happy.

  10. “Don’t forget 49ers 3rd round pick Glen Coffee retired at 23 to be a preacher.”

    There’s probably more money in it.

  11. Trying to live according to the Old Testament law is a curse. Matter of fact, you must live perfectly by every jot and tittle (all 692 of them) or else you’ve failed. And the good news is that there’s a Savior for those who have failed……

  12. I remember talking to Eli when this happened and being so confused about this. Kept thinking god gave you the physical gifts to be able to play in the NFL. I watched him do some crazy things while lifting together. But after talking to him and seeing how intelligent he is and how at peace he was with it, it was amazing how he could bring you around to understanding his beliefs and perspective.

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