A Great Day

6th of June, 2017

I had a great day of practice today. I trusted myself and trusted my instincts. That trust led to a good bit of success against the guys I competed against. Usually, on days like today, I leave feeling giddy – relieved that what I’m doing is finally working and excited that I’m making improvements. However,

The Cheering Section

23rd of March, 2017

During the last couple of years in Chicago I became friends with a man by the name of Brian “Boomer” Roberts. Boomer coaches basketball at Trinity International University in Deerfield, just north of Chicago. We attend the same church in neighboring Lincolnshire, and instantly became friends after talking one Sunday. Boomer’s team has become like

Why I’m a Trojans Fan

13th of March, 2017

These past few months have been a blast. Want to know why? It’s because of Trinity International University basketball. TIU is well known in some circles for its notable alumni, including authors and leaders like Ravi Zacharias, Bill Hybels, and many others. But as a NAIA Division II school, it’s not quite as well known

Sharing my Story

9th of February, 2017

We all have our stories. Circumstances in our life that helped shape in into the people we are today. Recently I got a chance to share a little bit of my story: from when I started playing football, to how I met my wife. Even to being named as one of the top 20 athletes

Little Brother No More

29th of September, 2016

Ever since I’ve known Emmanuel Acho he’s been a creator – a bold, fearless visionary who saw something in himself and dared to dream. Emmanuel willed himself from Austin, Texas to the NFL to the ESPYs . . . to PROM . . .  and now to even bigger and brighter things. But how he got

More Than a Number

2nd of September, 2016

To the 1200 NFL players who will be cut from your team today, I want to remind you: you are more than just a number. I wish I could speak to all of you, but since I can’t, I pray that you’ll read this. It doesn’t matter what any coach, scout, or general manager says.

As Long as There is Hope

11th of August, 2016

While in Nigeria on medical missions, I work outside. I do crowd control, trying to make sure people are lined up in an orderly fashion so we can see as many patients as possible. People wait hours, even days. But they always say, “As long as there is hope.” They’ll wait outside all day, for

Recipe for Greatness

26th of July, 2016

Great teams have great sayings. And they live by these mantras. In Arizona, Bruce Arians introduced us to three words that carried heavy weight: Trust, Loyalty, and Respect. Individually, these words were noble, maybe even weighty. But together they became a call to action. A mantra that we as a team lived by. For Pete

Glass Half Full

25th of July, 2016

I hate traffic jams. I mean, what good can come from being stuck in traffic? Especially when you’ve got somewhere to be. Traffic jams are the enemy of progress – proof of entropy in what’s supposed to be a smooth-running world. I’m sure you’re with me, right? But what if there was a way to

Built for Something More

20th of July, 2016

Like many of you, I often get the feeling there is more to life than my first world comforts. More to life than my first world goals. More to life than my first world problems. Working, just to be able to retire someday, never made any sense to me. Building up my 401(k) didn’t make

Orlando

13th of June, 2016

My head hurts. My heart hurts. We live in a broken world. In one night, 49 people died and 53 others were injured. And yet, we still don’t get it. One human being specifically targeted other human beings at a bar. This person came with intent – intent to kill people who were gay. There’s

The Big Pivot

16th of May, 2016

Have you ever been a part of something good? I mean, really good. I mean, so good that you don’t even want to interrupt it good? Last week we had a team Bible study and it was amazing. The Spirit of God was there and you could tell guys were into it. The pastor was

Promises Broken and Kept

15th of April, 2016

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Life is a test. And I’m trying desperately to pass. I don’t know about you but it seems like way too often, things don’t go the way I planned them. Though I play in the NFL and just signed a

Love Never Fails

31st of March, 2016

God’s been teaching me a lot over these last few months, through both free agency and fatherhood. I wrote about those free agency lessons a couple of weeks ago, but basically I learned not to put my faith in other people. This has been a hard-learned lesson, since I’m a self-identified people pleaser. Somehow I

On Solid Ground

18th of March, 2016

To be quite candid, free agency sucks. That is, unless your last name is Suh. People constantly let you down. Teams assign a value to you as a player (and intrinsically as a person) and that price tag, for the time being, is what you, as a player, are “worth.” Let’s be real, there’s nothing

Your Inner Kid

16th of March, 2016

People often wonder why I do the things I do. The short answer: Jesus. The long answer? That may take a little bit of explaining. Growing up, never in a million years did I think I’d become a professional athlete. On the contrary, I quite literally thought that the world would come to an end

Be Different

10th of March, 2016

Recently I met the most wonderful little girl while speaking to some students at a school in Dallas. We talked about dreaming big and setting yourself apart. Though I love public speaking, the highlight of my day was meeting this student after my speech. Her name was Farrah and she was the most interesting girl

Be You

4th of March, 2016

Comparison is the thief of all joy. As part of my off-season conditioning, I usually find new places to train. In one of my recent sessions, I trained alongside a player in the Canadian Football League who has dreams of making to the NFL. Throughout the workout I could tell he was sizing me up, trying

Choose Hope

27th of October, 2015

It hit me at the worst possible time. I had just started on a new team with a “prove it” contract. I was doing my best to prove to myself and to this team that I belonged. And to be honest, I was doing a pretty darn good job. I came to this team with

#ThingsJesusDIDsay

24th of August, 2015

People often wonder what God’s plan is for their lives. They go through life lost and confused, searching for answers. Recently I saw #IfICouldTalkToGod trending on Twitter. People used this hashtag to post thoughts or messages they would tell God if they could talk to him. Here were a few of the messages I came

My World Tour

27th of June, 2015

There are many ways in life to approach a problem. And any different approach can give a different solution. My problem: I wanted to experience every culture in the world. My solution: Thunderbird. For those of you who don’t know, the Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of ASU) has been consistently ranked the #1

Turning the Page

1st of April, 2015

These last four years have been the best four years of my life. I made friends, made plays, met people, met expectations, grew physically, and matured spiritually. These last four years have shaped me. I came into the NFL not knowing what to expect. When I got drafted by the Cardinals, I was met with

The Power of the Tongue

4th of January, 2015

As a high school athlete, I found joy in watching ESPN. In fact, I would finish my homework early (or not do it at all) just to watch these nightly sport shows. But it wasn’t just a show that drew me in. Instead, I was drawn to the TV personalities—and in particular, Stuart Scott. Stuart Scott

Foote-ball

21st of November, 2014

This week I welcomed by teammate and good friend Larry Foote onto The Sam Acho Show. We asked him about his magical age-defying elixir and we talked about an altercation we had on the sidelines a couple of Sundays ago. I also sat down with Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings to talk a little baseball.

TD-a-Thon for Nigeria

14th of November, 2014

As many of you know, my family and I have been working hard to raise $2 million to build a hospital in Nigeria. We’re not doing it to feel good about ourselves or to look like do-gooders. We’re doing it because for us Nigeria is home. Both of my parents were born there, as was

P-Twice and Spanky

14th of November, 2014

This week on The Sam Acho Show I sat down with the NFC defensive player of the week Patrick Peterson, who made a couple of incredible plays in last Sunday’s win against the Rams. I also talked a little baseball with my friend Adam “Spanky” Eaton of the Chicago White Sox. Here’s my conversation with Pat:

1-on-1 with Carson Palmer

7th of November, 2014

This week on The Sam Acho Show we welcomed the Cardinals’ 2014 first round draft pick Deone Bucannon into the mix, and he even demonstrated how to play in the defensive backfield. It was a great conversation. I also had the chance to sit down with our quarterback Carson Palmer, to talk about our team’s

Brotherly Love

31st of October, 2014

This week on the Sam Acho Show, in addition to the usual shenanigans with Bobby Mac and great insights from our other guests, we talked about our team’s big win last Sunday. Obviously, I love it anytime we win. But this week it was extra sweet, since the win came against my brother Emmanuel and

KULABAFI, Ninja Extraordinaire

23rd of October, 2014

This week, to celebrate this amazing play (among others) from our win against the Raiders in Oakland, I welcomed Stepfan “KULABAFI” Taylor onto The Sam Acho Show. I asked him what it feels like to be such an important part of our team’s offense, and then we played a friendly game of ninja. Here’s the

Shooting Pool, Singing Competition, and Football

16th of October, 2014

This week, I welcomed my teammates Rashad Johnson and Drew Stanton onto The Sam Acho Show. For those who don’t know, the show happens every Tuesday at 7pm at Native Grill and Wings in Glendale, and is streamed live at azcentral.com and azcentral.com/sports. If you haven’t joined us in person or watched online yet, please

My New Show

9th of October, 2014

As many of you have heard through social media, a few weeks ago I launched The Sam Acho Show presented by The RoomStore. It’s a one-hour show filmed each Tuesday at 7pm with a live audience at Native Grill and Wings in Glendale and streamed exclusively at azcentral.com and azcentral.com/sports. It’s been a dream of mine

The Bigger Picture

4th of October, 2014

We are 3-0 and I could not be more excited. It’s hard to win in the NFL, and it’s even harder to keep on winning. One main reason that teams can’t win consistently is complacency. We recently had a Marine veteran speak to the team. He talked about his time at war and how the

Making The Cut

4th of September, 2014

Last week I finished the four most grueling weeks in football. A period of time when 90 players are fighting for 53 spots. A period when you leave family, friends, and normalcy behind and devote your all to Making The Cut. Everyone knows about the glitz and glamour of the NFL—the money, the celebrity, and

Changing My Mind

6th of August, 2014

My friend and teammate Larry Fitzgerald once told me, “The game of football is 90% mental. It’s only 10% physical.” This statement was telling because it was a response to my question about what made him so great. This answer was also telling because it was coming from arguably the best wide receiver in the

Pads Popping

29th of July, 2014

For the first time in almost a year, I’ve put the pads back on. And I am SORE. Football is a physical game. And it gets even more physical when everyone is doing their best to make the team. I’m so excited to get the pads back on and play again. But playing football is

The Pygmalion’s Journey

24th of July, 2014

My morning routine has been pretty, well, routine lately. Wake up. Pray. Brush teeth. Wash face. Take shower. Put on workout clothes. Get to work. Repeat. Day after day after day. But one day recently, the routine was a little different. I had been invited to speak at SXSW V2V in Las Vegas as part

Starting Over

23rd of July, 2014

Remember when I talked about feeling like a rookie? Well it’s true. Although training camp doesn’t officially start until Friday, the rookies on our team reported today—and I joined them too. Each season represents a new start, but this time around it’s an even bigger deal for me. Having spent time on the injured reserve

The Man Who Changed the Game

8th of July, 2014

When you say World Cup in the US, there are a few thoughts that come to mind. Tim Howard, Cristiano Ronaldo, or how much we don’t like Germany. But when you say World Cup around the world, there is only one name that comes to mind: Neymar. Neymar da Silva Santos Junior is the 22-year-old

The Main Ingredient

16th of June, 2014

We all want to experience success, don’t we? Whether it’s in sports, in school, or in work of any kind, no one wants to fail. And while we’d prefer it if success came easily, it doesn’t normally work that way. In fact, it almost never does.

Whether you like it or not, struggle is necessary for success. It’s true. I’ve learned this first hand. So today I want to tell you about three life experiences when I struggled, and how they led to future success.

Book Me to Speak at Your Event

6th of June, 2014

Many of you know that one of the things I most love to do when I’m not playing football, serving in Nigeria, or spending time with loved ones is public speaking. I’m grateful for chances I get to speak at all kinds of events, from classrooms to board rooms to auditoriums, from businesses to churches to

A Good Day

19th of May, 2014

Today was a good day. Just about eight months ago, I broke my fibula, which left me unable to play football for the first time in my life. I was also unable to run, walk, and jump for the first time as well—at least since my days crawling around carpets as a toddler. Most of

Playing the Back 9

5th of May, 2014

It was a clear, sunny morning in mid-April. The grass was green and the greens were greener. It was that time of year again—the dreaded time when I’m forced to embarrass myself in front of four or five other people for hours on end. The time when I look unathletic, unreliable, and unteachable. Yes, it

The Problem at Home

26th of April, 2014

We live in a cold world. As Americans we believe that we are immune to trouble and that the real evil is outside of the contiguous 48. We couldn’t be more wrong. I go to Nigeria each and every year, and every time, some of the people I invite turn down the offer because of

Wear Your Passion on Your Sleeve

15th of April, 2014

I’ve been told many times that I can get pretty passionate. It’s true. As a linebacker in the NFL, passion comes with the territory. If you’re timid, you won’t last long in this job. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to be passionate—to care deeply about what matters and to work hard

The Toughest Job in the World

10th of April, 2014

Playing in the NFL is tough. Going through grueling two-a-day practices in the 100 degree Arizona heat. Fighting with all your strength to PRACTICE well enough to make the team. Working even harder to earn a starting spot. Hoping you don’t get cut after those three intense weeks. And that’s just August. Follow that up

Take a Stand

27th of February, 2014

In 2005, Thomas Friedman wrote a book called The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. This best-selling book opened our eyes to the increased globalization going on in our world today. No longer in existence are the looming national barriers that kept us from communicating, trading, and doing business in other

What makes it ALL worth it

17th of February, 2014

Remember that time when you did a traditional Nigerian wedding in Africa and then didn’t get to see your “wife” for seven and a half months? Also, do you remember that time when you filed a fiancée visa for her, then found out that 80% of fiancée visas out of Nigeria get rejected? Remember that

The Super Bowl Story You HAVEN’T Heard

2nd of February, 2014

It’s that time of year again and many of us are getting ready for the biggest holiday of the year: Super Bowl Sunday. We’re buying food, purchasing drinks, and preparing our homes to watch the most-watched event in America. The past two weeks have been riddled with Super Bowl storylines. From Peyton Manning’s famous (and

The Most Dangerous Safety Net Around

28th of January, 2014

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “I’ve been a Christian my whole life.” It’s usually in response to a question about where someone stands with their faith. Understandably, it is an idiomatic phrase, but it drives me crazy. Because the underlying mindset behind this response is one of security and

With Friends Like These…

22nd of January, 2014

Have you ever had a group of friends who you can’t imagine living without? A few people in your life who you KNOW are there for a reason, through both your ups and your downs? I have been fortunate enough to find a group of friends like this in Phoenix. As you may know, the

When I Was a Child…

16th of January, 2014

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish things behind me… except for game nights. Off and on for the last few months, I’ve been inviting some friends over to my house for game night.

Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

3rd of January, 2014

A few days ago I went grocery shopping. As I parked and started to get out of my car, I saw a lady across from me walk out of her car with a bag of popcorn, open up the bag, dump all the popcorn on the ground, and casually walk into the store, bag in

Thank You For The Best Year of My Life

31st of December, 2013

God, When I think about the year 2013 I can’t help but to say think you. I spent the beginning of 2013 in Nigeria, spending time with the woman of my dreams, a woman who I would soon propose and later celebrate with amongst 2000 friends, villagers and voyagers in Nigeria. I came back to

My PhoenixONE Story

30th of December, 2013

Have you ever been a part of something awesome? I mean like truly awesome—something so cool that it starts redefining what “cool” is. Well, I get a chance to be a part of this every first and third Tuesday night at PhoenixONE. I first heard about PhoenixONE at a different young adults ministry which I

Taking Time

20th of December, 2013

So, without getting into too much detail, my mom had a pretty serious surgery earlier this week. She is a nurse practitioner, so she frequents hospitals. But this was her first time actually being a patient in a hospital in 23 years. It was very odd seeing her receive care rather than giving it. To

Help Me Build a Hospital in Nigeria

12th of December, 2013

One of my biggest passions in life is to give back to the people of Nigeria. My parents were born and raised in the country, and as a family we return every year as part of medical missions trips through Living Hope Ministries. But there is an urgent need for ongoing medical care in the

Fight On Nelson

5th of December, 2013

Few people have the capacity to change the world. Even fewer have the desire. Fewer still are willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. Nelson Mandela had and did all of these things. He was an ordinary man, with extraordinary impact. This impact started from the day he was born. Nelson Mandela is an

Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer, and You

4th of December, 2013

I’ve already written about the celebrities who will be auctioning off exclusive experiences at my big party next Monday night to raise money for a hospital in Nigeria, and I’ve extended my personal invitation for you to get in on the fun. Now I want to share a few extra details about two of the

A Lot To Be Thankful For

27th of November, 2013

Last Wednesday night was, hands down, the most authentic, real, and true experience I’ve had since breaking my fibula. Part of the goal in writing the fibula diaries was to “suffer with the city,” and this experience gave me the chance to do just that. Phoenix Rescue Mission is a homeless shelter, a rehab facility, and

Believe

26th of November, 2013

We had just earned our seventh victory of the season against Indy, our fourth win in a row. Life was good. I was excited. Excited to be at the game and excited to cheer on my team. Yet the most exciting part of my day wasn’t watching the guys play, it was meeting an opposing

True Greatness

18th of November, 2013

Being great is one thing. Being humble is something totally different. Throughout my life I have met, played with, and hung out with some of the most well accomplished people out there. From Presidents to Pro Bowlers, I’ve seen it all. Yet what has impressed me most about these men was not their accomplishments, but

Hang With The Stars

16th of November, 2013

I’m really excited for the second annual Hope for Life Celebrity Auction and Fashion Show on December 9 to benefit Living Hope Ministries in Nigeria. Did I mention that you’re invited? Well, in case you’re curious which celebrities are going to be auctioned off and what kinds of experiences they’re offering, you’re now in luck.

Man’s Best Friend, My Worst Enemy

7th of November, 2013

So… I’m scared of dogs. Ahh I’m glad I finally got that off my chest. This phobia wasn’t innate; it was onset as a child when I saw my sister get attacked by a neighbor’s German Shepherd. “Saw” actually isn’t the best descriptor, considering I ran inside and hid as soon as the dog started

You’re Invited!

25th of October, 2013

As many of you know, my parents started a nonprofit called Living Hope Ministries, and the work this organization does means the world to me. Every summer I travel to Nigeria with a group of doctors and nurses who provide medical care to those who need it. I have seen a lot accomplished on these

Why I Turned Around

25th of October, 2013

Yesterday I went to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to hang out with some of the kids during their monthly “Birthday Party.” I got a chance to take some pictures and sign some autographs, and it was fun. The toughest part was seeing some of the kids so drained and tired and sad, and not really being

True Humility

21st of October, 2013

The other day I watched a 30 for 30 special on Sugar Ray Leonard and his Welterweight Championship bout against Roberto Duran. During this fight, Leonard ran circles around Duran to the point where Duran eventually proclaimed “No mas!” midway through and quit the fight. Leonard was now the world champion. During the post-fight interviews, however,

It’s Never Too Late

14th of October, 2013

Anyone out there who has siblings knows how easily they can get under your skin, and vice versa. Last week, I got into a big time argument with my sister—an argument in which I was a jerk and didn’t even realize it until after the fact. Usually after big time arguments like that one, I

Busting Out of My Shell

10th of October, 2013

If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty gregarious. I’ll talk to just about anyone, anywhere, at any time. Much of the talking has been made easy because of what I do. I play football, and everyone wants to talk about football (or at least fantasy football). But what happens when I can

Scooters, Pom Poms, and the Road to Recovery

7th of October, 2013

I knew Sunday was going to be tough. I just knew it. It was the first time since my injury that I would go back to our stadium and NOT run out on the field with my teammates. I didn’t know how I’d handle it. My fiancée told me to be strong, but I couldn’t

Unsung Hero: Marion

2nd of October, 2013

“I thought getting diagnosed with cancer was overwhelming, but what was even more overwhelming was the support I got after the diagnosis.” Today’s unsung hero is Marion. A while back she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It went into remission, then came back again. And I thought I had it tough. In talking to Marion

From Field to Fan

29th of September, 2013

It’s Sunday morning. Our team is warming up on the sideline. Broadcasters are highlighting our players. And I’m sitting down, on the couch, in my living room. This felt weird. For the first time in my life I felt like a spectator, a fan watching from afar. But oddly enough, as the game went on, I felt like

Helplessness, Servitude, and Love

26th of September, 2013

I’m finally understanding what helplessness really looks and feels like. From bathroom breaks, to eating food, to getting up and down the stairs, I need help. Thankfully my parents are here for me. A trip to the restroom requires one arm on a crutch and the other on my dad’s shoulder. A trip down the stairs

Post-Surgery Update

25th of September, 2013

Yesterday around 5 PM I had surgery on my leg. I am in a fair amount of pain right now, but the good news is that everything went well and the prognosis is good. After the surgery, the doctors said my fibula was not as bad as it could have been. Because of that, I can now expect

The Fibula Diaries

24th of September, 2013

Sunday was a bad day. But on the flight back to Arizona from New Orleans I was reminded that I was well equipped for what was to come after breaking my leg, a season-ending injury (technically, I fractured my fibula, but it hurts—a lot). I haven’t watched film yet, but from what I can remember

Keepin’ It Real

6th of September, 2013

We all have passions—things we just love doing. Our lives are shaped by what we love. But as I’m sure you know, every passion comes with its share of hardship. Two of my greatest passions in life are playing in the NFL and going to Nigeria. I’m privileged to get to play football for a

I Am ________.

6th of September, 2013

You may know me as a linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals. But many of you don’t know who I am when I’m not on the field, rockin’ the #94. I want to share some of my life story and tell you what has made me who I am today.

Why I Wear This Wristband

6th of September, 2013

I’ll be honest with you. As I’ve played football over the years—in high school, college, and now in the NFL—there have been times when I’ve seen things going wrong on my team, and sometimes I’d wait for someone else to fix it. I saw that changes needed to be made, and would hope that someone

Let’s Freakin’ Go!

6th of September, 2013

Negativity is annoying. Pushback is good. Everybody needs a devil’s advocate. But don’t be negative. No one likes that. It doesn’t make you any better. Peter walked on water because he kept his eyes on the prize. It’s time to walk on water. Pressure is an illusion. It’s not real. Fear is the stepping-stone to