Joe Anderson was running out of options. He went undrafted as a wide receiver in 2012 and found himself on two different teams in three years before losing his potential spot in the NFL all together. A lot of players in his position would quit and/or whine about life’s unfairness. But this isn’t that kind of story. Instead, he showed up like you would for any other job that you want.
Well, not exactly…
“Most people won’t do something like that because they don’t want to be talked about,” Anderson said. “What will people back home say? ‘Oh he was in the league, now he’s not.’ You shouldn’t be worried about what people think.”
It caught the eye of former teammate and current New York Jet Brandon Marshall, who shared the photo on his Instagram page.
Wow this is humility right here. My brother @_joeanderson is one of the hardest working guys I’ve had the pleasure of playing with. Everyday he stands outside of @houstontexans stadium praying someone gives him a shot. Some may call him #crazy. Hell I had to stop and really see his strength in this. I watched this guy grow so much. JOE you’re the kinda of guy I want to play with. You’re the guy I want in my FOXHOLE. I don’t care if it’s covering kicks. #mindovermatter
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom PROVERBS 11:2
Close to two months later, Anderson has a job and a chance with the New York Jets. Turns out that hard work, combined with a whole lot of humility can go a long way. Something about “he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Cardboard signs and social media help too.
Not everyone in the NFL is a star with million dollar deals, endorsements, or a Beats Headphone commercial (read What Richard Sherman Really said about #BlackLivesMatter). It’s easy to overlook NFL players like Anderson who are desperate to play. In an age of players with astronomical salaries complaining about how they aren’t paid enough, we also have players like this man, who would snap up any chance he could get to play football for as long as he can. And when there were no more chances to snap up… he made his own.
Sometimes all it takes is not thinking outside the box, but cutting it up and writing something on it. Ten points for creative recycling, Joe.