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Editorial's by Chris feature's Chris Dailey's boldest predictions, articles, and more!
In sports, there are moments we think we would never see.
From Leicester winning the Premier League after being given 5000-1 odds to Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards, sports have delivered moments that have made us go, how on earth has this happened?
And in the NFL right now, we have one of those very moments.
Tom Brady is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
The New England Patriots do not have Tom Brady at QB.
It’s an odd sight to see.
A sight, I never thought I would see, ever.
As I watched both the Buccaneers vs Saints and Buccaneers vs Panthers game, I was in shock.
My brain had trouble processing what I was watching. I kept asking myself, what is this? Who is this? Is this actually Tom Brady, in Tampa?
And ever since the announcement was made on March 20 that Brady is going to Tampa, I was ready.
Mentally and emotionally, I was ready for a new start. A fresh beginning, in both New England and in Tampa.
Or so I thought.
However, while both of those games, something felt off.
I just couldn’t comprehend how Tom Brady doesn’t don a Patriot helmet no more.
And to see the Patriots without Tom, my eyes were hurting.
I am not a Patriots fan by any means, but to me, this is one of the most monumental moments in NFL history.
A legacy left behind in New England for better weather for the 42-year-old Brady is now a reality.
For so long I kept thinking, ‘it won’t happen, it won’t happen,’ but guess what?
For me, I need to adjust. I need some time to myself to break down all of this happening.
I wasn’t alive to see Montana with the Chiefs, and I am sure that was odd for all the folks back then.
Now, history repeats itself, except it’s Brady moving to Tampa.
It’s odd, it’s out of the ordinary, and most of all,
It’s the weirdest moment in sports history, for me.
Photos via https://nflspinzone.com/2020/09/22/tampa-bay-buccaneers-tom-brady-uneven-win/ and https://thespun.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/GettyImages-1272311927-775x465.jpg
The world seems to love that very thing.
I don't blame them.
See, I am only 14, but I have still have experienced and learned many different things throughout my life.
And at only 14, most of those things come from sports.
From winning two free tickets to go to the MLS Cup Final in Atlanta to playing soccer overseas in Ireland, sports is one the 'three constants' I have in my life.
Those 'three constants' are faith, family, and as you know, sports.
An American, I watch any sport on TV no matter the country it's being played in or what language the announcers are speaking.
If it has some sort of competition, I am watching (or playing).
Now, many of us have teams.
These are the teams you support. They're usually the team that is closest to you or the team your family supports.
And in some cases, it's the team with the coolest name when you were three.
For me, these teams were the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Yankees, and New York Red Bulls.
Notice the trend?
However, it was a day in 2014 when all of that changed.
A team was added to the list.
But not just any team, my team.
A team that embodies who I am.
To understand, you need a backstory...
It was me and my PlayStation3 on a summer night in New Jersey. I put my FIFA 14 disk in and got playing 'Career Mode', a mode where you make yourself and play, as yourself.
Rules are simple, you can pick what team you join in the beginning and get playing. There are also 'request loan' and 'request transfer' buttons that you can choose if you're not getting enough playing time from your coach.
So, I got creating.
I made myself how I wanted to look and then picked a team, Chelsea FC.
However, I quickly realized something.
Playing in FIFA is similar to real life, if you're not good enough, you don't play.
I was only 63 overall compared to other players on the team in the high 80s.
Since it's hard to increase your overall when you're not being picked to play, I requested a loan.
I got two loan offers from teams I just didn't feel connected to at first.
But then, it happened.
I got a loan offer from the one.
It was love at first sight, even though it was just a video game.
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club aka the Chairboys.
Wycombe had (and still has) a beautiful quartered blue kit, and goalie jerseys that make you dizzy (you really need to see it to believe it).
I started right away and sure enough became a star.
Bagging in goal after goal, we won promotion!
Quickly, I found my favorite player on the team, Matt Bloomfield.
I followed the team on Instagram and would follow along.
From a team I found on FIFA 14 to a team that I knew everything about, Wycombe Wanderers weren't just any team, they were my team.
The following years, I would get the new FIFA and play with them.
I remember so vividly my other favorite players joining the team in 2015, Luke O'Nien and Paul Hayes.
I remember the game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane when we almost beat the Spurs in one of the FA Cup's most exciting games of all-time (that Paul Hayes goal was something else, right?)
Since finding the Wycombe Wanderers in 2014, I have seen them gain two promotions and I now can watch every game they play this year on ESPN+.
I have also had the pleasure to interview 4 Wycombe players, Alex Samuel, Joshua Parker, Curtis Thompson, and fellow American, Giles Phillips.
Now with owners from Louisiana in the Couhig family, I love how deeply connected Wycombe and the USA are!
I cannot wait for this upcoming season and hopefully we can make the Premier League!
One part of interviewing professional athletes that I love is picking apart their brains.
These are people that have gone through the lowest of lows and they still manage to make it to the top, to succeed, to become a professional athlete.
I find that many athletes have experienced these lows. Whether it’s rejection, injuries, or any other conflict, these professional athletes seem to bounce back from these very moments.
While many may look at these problems by shining a negative light on them, professional athletes see those problems in a positive way.
Sure, they may get sad, frustrated, anything along those lines that you could think of. However, from what I have noticed and examined in over 50 interviews, athletes have bounced back. Not just physically, but more importantly, mentally.
Once you pass the mental barrier, what I will refer to as ‘the wall’, you become stronger, resilient, and a better athlete.
With that being said, after passing that barrier, you have to do everything you can to maintain that state. You may fall again, and the process will repeat. But once you have passed that barrier once, it makes you more determined in a sense to get back past that wall.
See, once you past that wall, you know not just what it takes but what it feels like when you’re there. It’s rewarding, satisfying, and it proves why the hard work was worth it.
Athletes who have passed the wall and know the feeling will do anything to get back to that feeling again when they fall down.
Overall, if I want you to take anything out of this, it’s that professional athletes are not just fast, muscular, super-athletes.
Professional athletes are mentally stronger than the average person. Professional athletes are tough. Professional athletes are the ones who will do anything to get past the wall, to get up and show out.
Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed make sure to check out our other blogs and interviews with the likes of Saquon Barkley! Subscribe to us on YouTube!
Founder, The Sports Court