Found December 20, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
TEMPE, Ariz. Sam Achos life is encapsulated in one of his favorite quotes from the Christian rapper Lecrae. I dont want to be a celebrity; I want to be a servant. Acho cant help the former. Hes an NFL player, and a good one at that. But the Cardinals second-year outside linebacker is doing all he can do to stay true to the latter goal. A lot of times, people get caught up in things that arent as important, whether it be your reputation or your salary or your playing time, Acho said. Its important to remember what your priorities are. Once you realize what your priorities are, you actually live your life that way. Achos priorities are simple. He wants to do Gods work. In esoteric terms, that means honoring his family while staying true to Gods will and word. In practical terms, it means a lot of local charity work through the team or on his own. But it also means an annual, two-week pilgrimage to his homeland of Nigeria with his parents, Sonny and Christie, and his brother, Emmanuel, a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns who is currently on injured reserve. Each offseason, the Achos bring aid to Nigeria in the form of an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery, surgeons to repair hernias, optometrists to fit people with glasses, medicine for malaria and treatments for an assortment of other ailments. Last offseason, Acho took teammate Calais Campbell with him on this annual mission of mercy. Its eye-opening, said Campbell, who grew up in poverty. I didnt have a terrible childhood, but there were times when we lived in the homeless shelter, and there were times when I was hungry. Over there, theyre always hungry. You take some of the less fortunate people here in the United States, and theyre living 10 times better than some of the most fortunate people over there. Achos parents were born in Nigeria, and his grandmother still lives there. His parents founded the Living Hope Bible Fellowship Church and the offshoot Living Hope Ministries to help provide important medical services in Nigeria. Sonny Acho had the opportunity to further his education and moved to Dallas where Sam grew up, later playing for the University of Texas. But the Achos never forgot their roots or the needs of the people living back home. Theres a lot more going on in the world than we see here in the United States, and theres a lot more poverty than you can imagine, Sam Acho said. My parents never really came out and said why it was important for us to give, but it was pretty obvious. When you see all the people of the village have to walk over a mile to the stream, get water in a bucket, take it back to the house and then boil it and wait for it to cool down so they could have drinking water, little things like that just tug at your heart. Acho admits that serving others provides a high like nothing hes ever experienced on the football field. But it has nothing to do with his celebrity status, because thats a nonfactor in many parts of the world. While some Americans may still imagine Muhammad Ali walking the streets and towns of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) with fans chanting his name, or Michael Jordan being mobbed in China, the reality is different for most professional athletes. Theres no concept of celebrity, Acho said. You could be the biggest superstar and you go over there in a village and people dont know who you are -- and they dont care who you are, quite frankly. Theyre just happy that youre there to help. Acho said Campbell did raise some eyebrows when he arrived, but not due to a suspicion that he was a famous athlete. They thought he was a giant, Acho said, laughing. While Acho is a well-chiseled 6-feet-3, 257 pounds, he's dwarfed by the 6-8, 300-pound Campbell. They were like, Whoa, is that Goliath? Acho understands that, through his work, he cant avoid calling attention to himself. But if that spreads the word and raises the funds necessary to help others, hes OK with that reality so long as others dont single him out for praise. There are bunch of guys on this team that do stuff that no one knows about, Acho said. Theyre not about the media coverage. They dont need people to see it in order to serve others. The Cardinals clearly view Acho as an asset. To (president) Michael (Bidwill) and this organization, what the players do in the community is an important part of it, and Sam obviously does a great job with that, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. Were lucky to have Sam, and I think this community is lucky to have Sam. Hes very unselfish and driven to try to help people be better in life. What that means for his post-football days, Acho isnt sure. Nor is he worried. The Book of John says: If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you can ask for anything you want, and you'll receive it. Acho said. I plan on going back in the offseason to start getting my MBA, but I dont know what route my life will take me. It doesnt matter because my plan is to do Gods plan. And my hope is that my plan wont overtake Gods plan because my plan would just get in his way. Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
WIDEOUT THROWS DOWN

Larry Fitzgerald a huge MMA fan

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald recently mentioned that he is a big fan of mixed martial arts, so much so he even has incorporated its training into his workout routine.

Patrick Peterson says he’s the best cornerback in the NFL

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson certainly doesn’t lack confidence.  When he was asked if he’s the best cornerback in the NFL, he didn’t hesitate in saying yes. ”I believe so,” said Peterson, per the AP.. ”I believe I’m playing at a top level right now. Week in and week out, I’m given the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver and I believe I’m handling...

Patrick Peterson thinks he's the best cornerback in the league

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson was kinda baited on this one, and it was certainly hook, line and sinker in his repsonse. When asked if he believes he's the best cornerback in the NFL, Peterson replied, "I believe so", according to the Associated Press, via Yahoo Sports. ”I believe I’m playing at a top level right now. Week in and week out, I’m given...

Super-confident Peterson says he's NFL's best CB

Arizona safety Kerry Rhodes says teammate Patrick Peterson will never catch up with his confidence. But, as Rhodes says, ''it works for him.'' In his second NFL season, Peterson proclaims himself already the best cornerback in the NFL. He says it's all about confidence, not cockiness, and his play seems to be backing up his talk. Peterson has seven interceptions...

Arizona Cardinals: Week 16 NFL Power Rankings (#27)

Last week: 29 (+2) Record: 5-9 Net points per drive: -0.31 (23rd) DVOA: -14.7% (26th) Weighted DVOA: -21.6% (27th) The Cardinals ended a 9 game losing streak last week and avoided the 4-0 to 4-12 collapse, but they did it almost purely on returns, returning two interceptions for touchdowns and returning a muffed punt to the Detroit 5, for an easy score. Ryan Lindley still didn...

Bear Breakdown: Analyzing the Cardinals’ Defense for Week 16

After the Cardinals started the season 4-0, many wondered if they were a legitimate threat in the NFC West, but their offense continued to struggle and the team has gone 1-9 in their last 10 games. Offensively, the Cardinals are a mess.  Various quarterbacks have found their way in and out of the lineup, their offensive line has been beat up, and their running game has struggled...

Peterson will challenge Bears' Marshall

Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall will face one of his toughest challenges of the season this week against the Arizona Cardinals, squaring off against cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Bear Breakdown: Analyzing the Cardinals' Defense for Week 16

After the Cardinals started the season 4-0, many wondered if they were a legitimate threat in the NFC West, but their offense continued to struggle and the team has gone 1-9 in their last 10 games. Offensively, the Cardinals are a mess.  Various quarterbacks have found their way in and out of the lineup, their offensive line has been beat up, and their running game has struggled...

Key Matchup: Matt Forte Against Arizona’s Defense

The Arizona Cardinals defense allow 335.8 ypg which ranks 11th in the league. They allow 21.6 ppg as well. They’ve done a solid job at stopping the pass allowing just 199.3 ypg through the air, which ranks fourth. However they haven’t found a way to stop the run this season. They rank 28th allowing 136.5 yards per game on the ground. The Chicago Bears need to capitalize on the...

Week 16 NFL Picks Celebrate Holidays, But Hope Cardinals Win Doesn’t Mean Apocalypse (Podcast)

Week 15 was an appetizing slate of NFL football games, but Week 16 will likely pale in comparison. That’s if we even get to the weekend. Some feel end of days is near — choosing to believe the Mayan calendar is telling us that the world will end on Friday. If that is the case, what a bummer. But then again, it’s only fitting that the Arizona Cardinals won a game in the final...

Cardinals Will Provide Bears With a Tough Test

Back and forth on how I would have predicted the Bears to match up with the Cardinals this season.  At first I saw the Cardinals as a stiff test on the road, this after they started the season 4-0.  Then the Cardinals went on a long losing streak while the Bears stood at 7-3 on the season.  Now the Bears have lost five of their last six games and while the Cardinals have lost...

Bear Report Radi Week 16: Cardinals Preview

In this week's edition we talked about Corey Wootton's progress, the Bears playoff scenarios and Mike Jurecki the Cardinals Insider for XtraSports910 radio in Phoenix joined us to talk about the Arizona Cardinals.   

Bear Breakdown: Analyzing the Cardinals' Offense for Week 16

Few teams this season have been worse than the Chicago Bears on offense, but the Arizona Cardinals are one of them. The Bears are currently the 29th-ranked offense in the league, just a few spots ahead of the last-place Cardinals. The Cardinals average just 264 yards of total offense and only average 16 points per game; the Bears average 23. A team that was once one of the...

Key Matchup: Matt Forte Against Arizona's Defense

The Arizona Cardinals defense allow 335.8 ypg which ranks 11th in the league. They allow 21.6 ppg as well. They've done a solid job at stopping the pass allowing just 199.3 ypg through the air, which ranks fourth. However they haven't found a way to stop the run this season. They rank 28th allowing 136.5 yards per game on the ground. The Chicago Bears need to capitalize...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.