As a longtime middle linebacker, A.J. Hawk knows a thing or two about calling the shots. The Green Bay Packers veteran is often charged with positioning his fellow defenders and providing the play assignments.
It turns out these skills have him well suited to the role of ordained minister.
As Jenny Vrentas writes in MMQB, Hawk, 30, registered with an online ministry and became ordained four years ago. This spring he presided over his first wedding, that of longtime friend and Packers assistant athletic trainer Nate Weir.
Weir and his wife, Leslie, had grown close to Hawk and his wife, Laura, and when Weir popped the question he asked Hawk if he'd be willing to do the honors at their ceremony.
"Hey, if you want me to do it, trust me, I'd love to,” Hawk told his buddy. “But I don’t know if you're serious.”
This being Hawk's first wedding, he spent countless hours preparing his script and reviewing it with his wife and father.
Hawk officiating the ceremony wasn't the only non-traditional part of the wedding, which also included a slow clap at one point and a stanza from a Grateful Dead song. Hawk opened the ceremony with this line from Jake Plummer's speech at the funeral of Pat Tillman:
“What is beauty? Is beauty a pretty face, a nice smile, flowing hair, nice skin? Not to me, it's not. To me beauty is living life to higher standards, stronger morals and ethics and believing in them, whether people tell you you’re right or wrong.”
It was only fitting that Hawk could help out his friend, as over the years Weir has worked wonders on Hawk and his teammates. Hawk has only missed two games in his eight-year career, and he works with Weir constantly on injury prevention. Hawk told Vrentas that after one of his minor offseason surgeries to repair a ligament on his finger, Weir texted or called every day to check in on him.