What do Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott and Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott have in common? They both lost pieces of their pinkie during a football game! McDermott’s pinkie got stuck in the facemask of a Rams player during a field goal attempt.
Kevin Patrick McDermott II is an American football long snapper for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at UCLA, and signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2013.
Kevin is proud of his Catholic Faith and has used his professional starrdom to help shine the spotlight on it.
"What gives me the most strength and security is being a part of the routines and rituals of the Church. I realized in high school, partially due to a retreat in my junior year, how dependent I was on a regular schedule that included Sunday Mass. Then, as pro football became more and more of a real-life possibility, I was determined to keep up a schedule based on traditional spirituality.
I wanted to do well in football, for sure, but football was not going to get in the way of being a good Catholic. Every week for me in the NFL — whether that was preseason, regular season or postseason — has also included a Sunday Mass, which, most of the time, has been done the evening before games.
Maybe the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of was a Latin Mass in London. The 49ers were over there in 2013 for a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the priest made available to the team only did Latin Masses. Usually, people associate traditional Masses like that with beautiful cathedrals — something I’ve experienced as an altar boy in Nashville — but this time, it was in a conference room of a hotel.
Despite the plain surroundings, or maybe even because of them, I was so enthralled and moved by what was happening. It was an ordinary situation made quite extraordinary through the beautiful gift of the Latin Mass. Being a part of that with my teammates was unexpected and much appreciated."
- Kevin McDermott
After bouncing around three teams in his first two years in the NFL, Kevin McDermott found a home with the Minnesota Vikings in 2015. The undrafted free agent is very comfortable with his punter, Jeff Locke (who was also his teammate at UCLA), placekicker Blair Walsh and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
On May 7, 2013, McDermott signed with the San Francisco 49ers. On October 20, 2014, McDermott signed with the Baltimore Ravens. On April 3, 2015, McDermott signed with the Minnesota Vikings where he currently plays.
Kevin, like all professional athletes, can speak on any topics surrounding sports, hard work, the will to succeed and the motivational messages that come with that. He also loves to give his personal testimony.
Kevin's Prayer Life:
I pray Hail Marys while we’re on offense, so it can be said that all of our passes are Hail Mary passes. The Hail Mary is a prayer for any place or time, but two of the benefits of praying it during games are being reminded of how blessed I am that my job is playing a game and keeping my mind engaged in a routine. Since I usually have only eight or nine plays a game, it does leave lots of time to think. If you let your mind wander, you can get distracted or nervous, so the prayer allows me to give thanks and focus.
Being a good Catholic is more important than being a good football player, but you can be both. That’s something former Vikings center Matt Birk put on display in his career. He’s kind of a legend around here, where we’re continually reminded of his accomplishments, like being chosen for six Pro Bowls. We’re also reminded of how much work he put into be a great player and also the things he did in the community. He’s someone who has a solid spiritual foundation that is the basis for the good things he does.
Kevin On Married Life:
My wife is my best friend. I love how we share everything together and are in it for the long haul. I’ve found a great home with the Vikings and want to stay with the team as long as that’s possible, but I know one day it will come to an end. Marriage is different, since it is meant to be for a lifetime.
No matter where I’m living or what work I’m doing, my wife is always supportive. That gift of companionship is so valuable and affirming. It gives you an immediate, tangible strength and purpose in life. We are called as Christians to love one another as God loves us, which is always a challenge, but it is made easier when you’re near someone you find very easy to love. The effortlessness of loving my wife — and the beautiful love she gives in return — make the rocky seas of life so much simpler to navigate.