Being a free agent after the season starts is like going out on a great first date and sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring…. And waiting… And waiting…. Trying to figure out if anything went wrong…. Calling her friends to see what she said… Does she like you? Was she happy? How come she hasn’t called? So then you call her, voicemail. Damn!!! What now??? It’s okay, no biggie, you’re great, you guys had a great time, you made her laugh, you made her think, she’ll call. So you settle down, gather your thoughts, and formulate your plan so you are ready when she calls back.
The Plan: Keep working hard. Maintain the best shape I have ever been in. Stay focused and don’t listen to the nay-sayers. Get my post-football career jump started. Watch every down of football possible and visualize being out on the field again, and most importantly, Keep God first. Seven years ago when I started this NFL journey I set goals and I have not achieved all of them yet. So I am in no way done!! Injuries have slowed the process of me reaching some of my goals but I am stronger, in better shape, and a better athlete now because of them. My hunger for playing football and winning has never been greater. I can’t yet look back on my football career so far, because my future is way too bright. I have plenty of good playing years left!
The NFL is kinda like a big barrel of water. When you are playing your hand is in the bucket, your status as a player determines how deep your hand goes in the barrel, but as soon as you are either injured or out of the league your hand comes out of the barrel and the hole where your hand was closes up like it was never there. It does not matter whether you are Tom Brady or Montell Owens (Jaguars). There will always be someone to replace you (Matt Cassell). I always thought I appreciated the privilege of playing in the NFL but you never know how much you miss something until you can’t have it like you used to.
It’s funny how everything changes when you are not playing. Friends that used to call you for tickets don’t call anymore because you don’t have any. People look at you funny when you don’t pay for EVERYTHING anymore. I even had somebody tell me “you need just give it up and do something else, your career is over”. I was like blown away, are you serious? They must not know me. Hello, my name is George F. Wrighster III, and I’ve made a career out of doubters. Teams have called and inquired but some have doubts about my health. Whoever takes a chance will end up with one of the best transactions of the year because I’m on my Suga Free, “I stay ready so I ain’t gotta get ready”.
Although this process has been long, hard and at times tested my faith, I know I’m a better man because of it. I’ve used this time to reflect and grow. This waiting period has had its share of unexpected blessings. I’ve had the opportunity to weed out the real people from the fake “hangeroners”. I have been able to spend so much time with my 3 yr old son, who is my pride and joy and motivation to keep going forward. I’ve been able to make all his basketball and tee ball games and practices. I’ve learned that I really love writing my blog. I get a tremendous joy from knowing people find my blogs thought provoking and interesting. My body is finally 100% healthy, something I haven’t been able to say since the beginning of my 4th year. There have been some positives to this situation, but I can’t wait for that damn phone to ring!!!!