Gotta Believe!

Dear Julian,

you won’t know me, but I am a huge fan of yours, cheering you on all the way from Berlin, Germany. The picture I have included is Yours Truly during a game a while ago, which I was watching with my fellow New England Patriots fans whom I meet up with regularly – Superbowl parties included. The Beach Tyme Towel always makes an appearance there. Gotta represent in style! Right?

When people ask who my favorite Patriots player is, I’ll say, “Julian Edelman!” and am entirely unapologetic about it. Why should I? 🙂 Granted, when I first started following the Patriots back in 2014, it was of course a lot about Tom Brady, but the more games I was watching, the more this jersey with #11 on it started to attract my attention.

So there I was, doing research on you, because I needed to know more. Like a sponge, I was sucking in information about you. Where you came from, how you made it to the NFL, who you …are.

The thing that stuck out immensely to me is the fact that you are proving your nay-sayers wrong “tyme” and again. Those who said you wouldn’t make it to the Big Show that the NFL is because you’re “only” 5’10, that you’re too scrawny, too unconventional, and certainly not a Quarterback, the position you played in HS and at KENT STATE University in Ohio. So in order to make your dream of playing in the NFL come true, you transitioned to Wide Receiver. But still, barely any team, aside from the Patriots, had any serious interest in you.

Did you give up? No, you didn’t. If anything, it only fueled the fire in you to prove them all wrong. And you did so, by winning three Superbowls with the Patriots, and becoming MVP of SBLIII. Something that made me incredibly proud. Even more so since you came back from a torn ACL in the previous season.

This whole underdog story, even more so while I was reading your autobiography “Relentless“, is a total inspiration for me. I remember watching SBLI with my gang, down 3-28 with less than 20 minutes to go. It seemed we’d be in for a major ass whooping, but alas, the Patriots came back and achieved the next-to-impossible: winning the SB. Your ridiculous catch which kept us alive. You saying “GOTTA BELIEVE, bro!” to Tom Terrific – and probably being the only player on the team who still thought you could pull that one off. We blew off the roof when James White ran the ball into the Endzone in OT and thus sealed our 5th Superbowl win. This whole story proved what’s possible if you just never give up, even if the odds are stacked against you.

I was reading “Relentless” at the end of 2017 when I was struggling a lot with anxiety, fatigue and depression. Knowing your funny side from your YouTube videos such as “Burger Tyme” or others, as well as your competitive spirit from watching you play, I was looking forward to reading the book and finding out more. Of course, I also knew about your close relationship to your parents, and how your Dad paved the way for you. I admire the mindset he instilled in you, all the way to him saying that “you can’t ever tell Julian he cannot do something. That will just get him going, and you know, prove you wrong.” (E:60)

I was not disappointed. In fact, it even sealed the deal even more for me. Ironically, I was reading the book while you were sidelined with your torn ACL, but as you yourself like to say, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do!”

And this, along with the “Gotta believe!” credo from SBLI is something I can relate to A LOT myself. I cannot count the times I have heard a “no” when I applied for a job, or whatever. I’ve been knocked down multiple times, all while dealing with anxiety and depression. I have always said that athletes (just like musicians) are my biggest inspirations in life, and you, Jules, fit right in that category as well. You keep inspiring me to go on daily, even if there are lots of obstacles in my way. I admire you so much, how you keep proving those who doubted you wrong. And this is something I am trying to do as well – I may not have a stellar career whatsoever, but I am putting up the fight against the inner demons named “Depression” and “Anxiety”.

Being able to watch you and the Patriots during the Football season brings me a lot of joy and also helps me to come out of my shell, to socialize (and those who follow this blog or know me know HOW much “people-ing” can exhaust me), be in a Happy!Place and among like-minded people. Some of which have become really good friends. It makes me happy to watch you doing your thing on the gridiron. And now that you received SBLIII MVP Honors, I am even more proud. Well deserved! I know, there are some out there saying you didn’t deserve this award because of the b/s suspension earlier this season, but haters gonna hate, right? Just … ignore the noise!

Your story is something that I can relate to. I am proud to call myself a Julian-Edelman-fan. Not only are you an incredibly funny guy – and that alone makes me like you all the more! -, but you are also a fierce competitor who teaches me what you can achieve if you just never give up, but relentlessly follow your dreams. And for that, dear Julian, I am eternally grateful. As they say, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, but the size of the fight in the dog!”

I am proud to rock my JE11 shirts and hoodies (including a Kent State one!) on game day and also just for the heck of it. I am proud to call you my favorite player. I hope that one day, I will be able to meet you and tell you how thankful I am for all the things you have done for me, just by being … YOU, the kick ass Wide Receiver with a great sense of humor and an unbreakable spirit.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jules. Mean it.

pic: my friend Torsten

 

 

 

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