Teddy Bridgewater gives us a motivational message to overcome adversity.
Starring for Charlie Strong at the University of Louisville in college, Bridgewater would be a late first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft. By his second year in the league, Bridgewater was a Pro Bowl quarterback guiding his team into the NFC playoffs. It seemed for the first time since Daunte Culpepper that the Vikings had themselves a franchise quarterback.
Then, tragedy struck…
A week before the start of the 2016 NFL regular season, Bridgewater suffered a horrifying injury on the practice field. He tore his ACL and dislocated his kneecap in a non-contact injury. You could say his knee exploded. Had the Vikings not been on the ball in that practice, Bridgewater would have surely lost his leg.
While he only played in one more game for the next two years in Minnesota Vikings, he signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets in 2018. He never played in a regular-season game for Gang Green, as he was traded to the New Orleans Saints in late August. Bridgewater played the last two seasons in the Big Easy, playing in 14 games and going 5-1 as a starter.
Finally, after a half-decade of immense personal adversity and having to be someone’s backup, Bridgewater gets his opportunity to be an NFL starter again, this time with the Carolina Panthers. It may only be for a year or so, as the Panthers are expected to be one of the worst teams in football next year, likely drafting a quarterback in 2021. Too bad Bridgewater is not backing down.
Bridgewater tweeted out a video clip of him shortly after his 2016 surgery and a message of how he’ll never give up. “Came back from this just to lay down…? You out your damn mind.”
Teddy Bridgewater will make the most of his new opportunity to start.
Football is a game of attrition, one where brutal injuries happen far too often. Everybody who suits up to play between the lines knows the demanding physical nature of this game. Football is a collision sport, one where you need to be a little off your rocker to want to play at any respectable level. It’s about wanting to burrow through another man’s soul; it’s that type of a gladiator sport.
So why do so many people want to play this game and love it so passionately? It’s choreography in motion. It’s also one day a week where everybody can put aside their differences (socioeconomic, political, etc.) and fight together to achieve a common goal. Football is the ultimate team sport and one of great sacrifice. Only a handful of players can even touch the oblong ball in a given game.
So when Bridgewater said he’s not going to lay down, you better believe him. He’s going to a team where he is the unquestioned Week 1 starter. It is a complete and undeniable rebuild in the Queen City, but one where new head coach Matt Rhule will want battle-tested men of character like Bridgewater leading the way. This is why it will work out for Rhule and the Panthers in due time.
Bridgewater epitomizes grit, fortitude and mental toughness, something that is getting lost by the day in this great country of ours. Nothing will be given to you and you better believe someone is trying to take it from you at all times. If you’re not paying attention, that only means someone else is eating your lunch every single day. Bridgewater is why we watch this game on fall Sundays.
If Bridgewater’s message doesn’t get you fired up, then your wood’s wet.