Don’t Give Up – Tom Brady, Russell Wilson And More Didn’t

Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Doug Baldwin, and a bunch of other superstars suck. I mean that’s what they were supposed to believe. Wilson was too short, Brady was overlooked, and Baldwin wasn’t even drafted. Why are we even talking about these bums?

We’re talking about these players because they refused to believe what others thought and continued to work every day. I’d say based on their multi-million-dollar contracts, Super Bowl rings, and beautiful families, they made a good decision in believing in themselves.

Sports proves as a visual example of nobodies turning into somebodies. We all see the magnificent plays on the field, but what may go unnoticed is the day-to-day discipline that athletes demonstrate in their everyday lives.

I call it the willingness to improve, but it could simply be stated as a growth mindset. In society, outside of sports, it’s very easy to fall into bad habits and drift away from self-improvement. This is where our life begins to end.

Now, there are many valid excuses that lead to one giving up. Common examples are: I don’t have the money, I don’t have the time, I have kids to take care of, or it’s faster to do it this way. And while all of these reasons may sound justifiable in the moment, bottom line is, you’re quitting on yourself, and quitters never win.

Right now, we’re in a time of society where the energy feels different. There’s an extra stress line on the forehead of the store owner, the cashier’s eyes don’t glimmer the same way, and everyone is uncertain of what the future might hold. The plague of tiredness hangs in the air like exhaust from a muffler.

And while we are certainly in the midst of one of the most confusing times in human history, this is not an alibi to throw in the towel. And trust me, I know. I used to be the king of excuses.

The only place this led me to was an isolated and lonely existence. And I promise you, I’d prefer never to go back there.

Luckily for me, the universe blessed me with a health struggle that I’ll forever be grateful for. It is the only thing that allowed me to change my mindset, propelling me toward my healing and growth journey.

The thing that I’ve learned most from this ordeal is that no one wants to be around a person who is sad, broken, and makes no efforts to change—“effort” being the key word.

It is easy to change?

Hell no, it can feel darn near impossible at times, and the process is messy and sickening at others. But belief that something different can happen is usually the biggest hurdle to tackle. At least it was for me.

On the other hand, the constant complaining of someone who’s given up is not only embarrassing, it’s frustrating for everyone involved. We all go through stuff; every single person on this planet has their own challenges to conquer. And while adversity may feel miserable in the moment, it is often the driving tool to allow one to reach their full potential.

That’s the reason why we all love the movie “Rudy.” He had no business making the Notre Dame football team but his passion would not be denied. This type of effort and persistence is often what separates the haves from the have-nots.

But for every one of us that decides to accept and change, there are 99 more who’ll quit.

We’ve all seen the people who stay up till 2 AM eating M&M’S, wake up at the crack of noon, and then complain they feel terrible in the morning. This type of energy is not only toxic, it’s a hindrance to the entire human race.

I believe the age-old adage states “You can’t love others until you love yourself first.” The simple nature of this quote is understandable, but actually putting these words into action can prove complex, and tedious.

Look, I get it.

Deaths are rising, jobs are scarce, and the uncertainty in our society keeps building every day. This time calls for leaders now more than ever, and not just the athletes we see on the big screen. After all, they’re just people, too, but I’m talking about you here. What steps can you take toward self-enlightenment?

Now I’m not saying to go run an ultra-marathon, eat the 12-egg omelet at Beth’s Cafe, or try and outdrink Charlie Sheen. But it’s collectively our universal obligation to be the best version of ourselves.

And that’s not just a line I’m writing—it’s the truth. I think people are commonly scared to give it their all because they fear failure.

Just imagine if Brady, Wilson, and Baldwin had adopted this mindset. The world would never know the greatest quarterback in NFL History, the elusive video game-like moves of Russ, and that an undrafted free agent can become a Super Bowl Champion.

The coronavirus can take away sporting events, concerts, clubs, heck, even our right to breath without a mask. But it can’t take away human spirit.

Only you can take that away from yourself.

I believe in all of you. Don’t give up, and as Will Ferrell said, “keep trucking.”

Who knows how great you can truly be?

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About Nick Bartlett 155 Articles
My Name is Nick Bartlett and I am a staff writer here at OregonSportsNews, The Broadcast Manager at SportsPac12, and I am a youth Basketball Coach at Lakeside Middle School. I’ve had my articles featured in the Seattle PI, OregonLive, and various other publications. I also have my own Podcast/YouTube Show titled “The Nick Bartlett Show.” I am from Shoreline, WA (North Seattle) and I am a graduate of the Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University. For business inquiries, you can find my contact information below. Email:, Twitter: @WordsByBartlett