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Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.

Tony Dungy
Head Coach, Indianapolis Colts

April 23, 2007

Tony Dungy
Good afternoon. I would like to thank you for taking the time to express your well wishes. All of us with the Indianapolis Colts are thrilled to visit the White House. This is a wonderful opportunity for our organization. We are pleased to represent the National Football League and the city of Indianapolis. We thank President Bush for his invitation, and this will provide us with life-long memories.

garion, from fayetteville, nc writes:
Hello mr.dungy i first want to say good job on your superbowl victoryand you guys will see the lions next year. I want to know how do you plan on getting yoour guys hungry again to get them back into the thick of things and how do you change the new comers thats coming in out of the college mode into a real mans real.

Tony Dungy
Garion, fortunately, we have a good group of veteran leaders. They will make sure our guys are working hard in the offseason. We'll need to because everyone is chasing us. But it's really the players that make the difference.

Kay, from Carmel, IN writes:
Coach Dungy, congratulations to you and the entire Colts organization on a great season. With all of the issues happening lately with players getting in to trouble with the law, (not only the NFL, but NBA, and major league baseball), do you think that the NFL and the other organizations should make it mandatory that the professional athletes get involved with community organizations and charities. Do you think they will see that giving back to a volunteer organization is much better than getting in trouble with the law?

Tony Dungy
Kay, we don't need to make it mandatory for our guys to volunteer. We have so many who do it naturally, but they don't get the publicity that others get. We've really got a good group of players and I think their efforts will be seen by more people.

Tim, from Pensacola, Florida writes:
Coach, Congratulations on winning the superbowl and for long overdue recognition for a legacy of success - a validation to your approach which recognizes and compliments "the good" instead of criticizing excessively "the bad." Recent events have led us to focus on "the bad" in this world - a long list. I believe that because of all the good that people like you and the COLTS organization accomplish, the world is a far better place than it would be without it. In the face of so much negative press, how can we continue to focus on what "good" is going on out there and continue to build upon the many successes that we have going for us in this country?? Thanks and "BEAT NEW ENGLAND" Tim

Tony Dungy
Tim, you are right. We do need to focus on the positive. It's a conscious decision that we have to make. It's easy to let all the negative forces win out but we at the Colts have chosen to do it the other way. We want to be positive, to encourage each other, and to block out all the negative voices. We feel that's a lesson the whole country could benefit from.

Matt, from Fishers, IN writes:
Coach, great season and congratulations on winning the Super Bowl. We here in Indianapolis couldn't be more proud of our Colts. We want to get our kids involved in charities, but aren't sure when to start them and what would be an appropriate charity for teenagers and preteens, aged 14, 12, and 8. We want them to realize how important it is to give back to the community, but we also don't want them to miss out on being a kid. So, what is a good age to start getting them involved and how much should they get involved? Thanks and good luck on the upcoming season. You are such a positive role model to us all. May God Bless you for all that you do.

Tony Dungy
Matt, it's never too early to start volunteering. With young kids, just make sure it's fun things that you're having them do. They can kill two birds with one stone by helping others and having fun at the same time.

Charles, from Drexel Hill, Pa. writes:
I was a little disappointed to see so many in the media focus on the issue of race after you and Chicago Coach Lovie Smith both became the first African American coaches to bring your teams to the Super Bowl. Of course, this is a huge accomplishment, and you both should be proud Were you surpised at all that this became a topic of discussion in the lead up the big game? Congrats on the win

Tony Dungy
Lovie Smith and I were both excited and honored to represent African-American coaches in the Super Bowl. We didn’t want the focus to be on us as individuals, we wanted it to be on our teams, but we also understood the historical significance of the event and how much it was going to mean to Black America, so it was a delicate balance and we were proud to represent African-American coaches in that historic Super Bowl.

Phil, from Indianapolis writes:
Mr. Dungy: Congrats on your new book. Our family can't wait to read it. What's your filter to determine what groups may truly need assistance, and what groups are only looking for a handout? It seems as if we need to do a better job moving from volunteerism and community service to having people take the next step -- or congruent step -- toward education and self-responsibility. Thanks again for all that you do.

Tony Dungy
There’s no question that athletic figures have a position of prominence – we are given a lot and should be giving back a lot, I feel that many sports figures do, they don’t get publicized. Many guys want to do it, and ladies, many people want to do it without the fanfare. There’s quite a few people who do a lot in the communities that don’t get noticed but we do think we have a responsibility and I’m proud of the coaches and players in the National Football League who do give back to their communities on a regular basis.

Darian, from Wiscconsin writes:
How are young people to volunteer? when there is limited places to volunteer. Because I volunteer with two organization, one being the American Red Cross and a small town Fire Deparmtent. But some of the young can't because of age or distance.

Tony Dungy
Young people can volunteer in a lot of different ways – you mentioned the Red Cross and the Fire Department, but even if it’s just through their Elementary School or organizing particularly in your neighborhood a clean up or to help people in the very neighborhood you live in. There’s a lot of ways to get started and you’re never too young to start. I would just encourage kids – if you live in a small town or you live far away from those organizations – to come up with ways on your own or come up with ways in school that you can volunteer just to help anyone that you would like. A website to visit would be the USA Freedom Corps at, which has many resources.

Albert, from Indianapolis writes:
First of all, congratulations Coach to you and the entire Colts organization. You made us proud and we are thrilled to have you at the helm What's your assesment of the team's schedule and chances this season? Go Colts

Tony Dungy
Albert, thanks for checking in from Indianapolis and thank you for your support of the team. Our schedule this year is going to be very challenging. We knew we’d have the national TV games our only disappointment was that we didn’t get more night games at home but we’re looking forward to the schedule and looking forward to defending our division title, that’s always the first goal of our team to win our division and it’s going to be a challenge with this schedule. We’re looking forward to opening up the year on Thursday night football against the New Orleans Saints, carrying on the tradition of the defending champions opening up the year.

Christopher, from Grafton, North Dakota writes:
Mr. Dungy, First of all, congratulations on a great year. Secondly, what do you think of FCA? We have a chapter in Grafton.

Tony Dungy
Thanks so much for the congratulations. Secondly what do I think of FCA? It means a great deal to me – because the Fellowship of Christian Athletes really brings together two things that are close to me – athletics and my Christian faith. I think that’s a great organization to volunteer with as well as they help out in junior highs, high schools, colleges, and help student-athletes become more aware of their surroundings and their eternal life and that has been a great, great benefit to me as I’ve grown up.

Cliff, from Brimfield, Ohio writes:
Coach Dungy: How many of the Colts are involved in Community and Volunteer activities? And are you personaly involved in some of the activities and which ones? Thank You

Tony Dungy
We have quite a few players who are involved in volunteer activities in the community. We have many guys who are mentors and interns at high schools, coaching in the off---season, tutoring and teaching. Personally I am involved in three activities. One is Baskets of Hope where we deliver gift baskets to kids in the children’s hospital in Indianapolis. I am also involved with the Prison Crusade Ministry in Tampa, Florida, where we go and visit inmates in the prisons in the Florida Correctional Facilities. And then I’m involved in Family First which is an organization which tries to promote family values, and helping fathers especially connect with their kids a little bit better, so those are three of the activities I’m involved with, and I have really enjoyed volunteering over the years.

Tony Dungy
I’d like to thank everyone for your interest in the Indianapolis Colts. Our organization truly appreciates the support we get throughout the country, both as on-field performers and for the work we do off the field. We’re heading back to Indianapolis this afternoon to continue preparation for the upcoming season. Our players will be very busy in the conditioning program, as well as getting ready for our mini-camps, but we will have many, many players in the mean time who will be involved in volunteer activities all across the country and I can speak for our entire organization in urging everyone to make a difference in the communities in which they live. Take a page out of our player’s book, they really feel like winning the Super Bowl is a very important goal, but the most important thing in their lives is how they impact the city of Indianapolis and the places where they live. Thank you very much.

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