Sportress of Blogitude

Aqib Talib proved a schoolteacher wrong with NFL career

Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has carved out an exemplary NFL career. But when he was in middle school, one of his teachers tried to give him a dose of sobering reality when telling him in a way that perhaps pursuing his dream job of playing professional football wasn’t a wise course to take.

With Talib on the precipice of playing in Super Bowl 50, he recalled a day in school when a teacher slightly admonished him for his NFL dreams. And how he got in a bit of trouble because of his response.

“I was in the NFL when I was about 6 years old,” Talib said as he reminisced about his daydreams, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, by way of “I used to be Deion (Sanders). I used to be (Michael) Irvin. We used to write papers — I got in trouble one time, fourth grade … fifth grade, one of those grades. We had to write a little, one-page thing on what we were gonna be when we grow up, so I put, ‘I’m gonna be an NFL player.’

“So my teacher told me, ‘Seriously now. We’re writing about really serious jobs.’ So I said, ‘Just ’cause you’re not that talented and you’re not goin’ to the NFL, that don’t mean I ain’t goin.’ Got me a little in-school suspension for that. I kind of talked back to her I guess. She pulled me into the office. I’ll never forget it. And then I said it again, ‘Just ’cause you’re not goin’ to the NFL don’t mean I’m not goin.'”

Talib was one of the biggest stars of what was a predictably outrageous “Super Bowl Opening Night” on Monday, rocking an $80,000 Rolex watch, engaging in a rap battle with a reporter and delivering some truly witty one-liners.

And as noted, he has enjoyed great NFL career, being a three-time Pro Bowl selection and Second Team All-Pro in nine years.

Talib’s teacher was correct in many respects to discourage an NFL career as a be-all, end-all goal given the almost insurmountable odds encountered by the average, young football player. But in the end, Talib realized his dream and has a great anecdote about a person who doubted him, albeit in a perfectly reasonable manner.