This feeling is absolutely surreal.
I’m entering my NINTH season of football since graduating from West Texas A&M back in 2005! I’ve made my fair share of stops across the country, from Odessa, Texas to Miami, Florida (twice) and even in the Washington D.C. area. I have been blessed to learn from, talk to, and work with some of the best people I have ever come across.
My original “rookie” season was in 2010 with the Washington Redskins and things couldn’t of been better. Well, a few more wins, playoff visit, and a Super Bowl ring would have been nice, but I digress. (Shout out to Dave Ross) I remember walking in Danny Smith’s office and telling him that I would do ANYTHING to make the team, and that I did. Three years later brings me to Oxnard, California participating in the Dallas Football Cowboys’ training camp and that feeling I had back then has resurfaced. Don’t get me wrong, I have always had the mindset to do any and all it would take to make the team, and continue to make the 53-man roster.
I grew up in the Dallas area, watched the Cowboys and a kid, and even wore 22 in honor of Emmitt Smith and played running back for me pee-wee league Cowboys team. I think that has definitely intensified the “rookie” feeling that I am experiencing. You know when your parents would buy donuts for breakfast on the weekends? You couldn’t wait to get to the kitchen and sink your teeth into some glazed goodness. That’s is exactly how I feel every day. I will say, it would be nice to go without the sore muscles and feet, but that is a part of the process. When you get the chance of a lifetime to do the thing you love, you have to have that fire to keep your edge. Guys like eight time Pro Bowler, Jason Witten, and two time (should be many more) time Pro Bowler, London Fletcher approach the game with such an intensity day to day that makes you understand why they have been the best in the biz for such a long time.
I made a promise to myself to be the best version of Anthony Armstrong that that is each and every day. And it is that focus, drive, and intensity that makes me tingle with excitement when I sit in my who-know-how-many installs. The same feeling pushes me to compete with my teammates to make not only myself, but to make them better. I absolutely LOVE my job!
In closing, I ask you this. Do you have the same passion today that you had when you first started, or when you were a kid? Are you being the best version of you daily? Lastly, what are you going to do about it?