Teachers in elementary school are supposed to encourage their students to work hard to achieve their dreams later on in life. So who would dare tell a young kid to get serious about their dream of playing in the National Football League, never mind the Super Bowl? Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib has gotten the last laugh on one of his former teachers, as he explained this week.
Talib shared a story with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about an old school lesson that has stuck with him all these years later. The assignment called for Talib and his classmates to write a one page essay on what they would like to be when they grow up. A youthful Talib said he wanted to play in the NFL. His teacher was not too encouraging.
“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’.”
Kudos to the younger Talib for standing up for himself in the face of a teacher serving the role of dream crusher. Who does she think she is anyway?
Talib helped cement Denver’s reservation for the Super Bowl by tipping the two-point conversion attempt from New England quarterback Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game. Here’s hoping that teacher was watching, thinking back to this particular moment as well. Of course, Talib had some rocky moments along the way in his earlier NFL days, but he has learned lessons from those experiences (getting into a fight at the NFL rookie symposium and spending time in jail for a battery charge and a later charge for firing a gun) as well.
“I got older,” is mostly what Talib said. “The same way everybody else changes. You know, you get older. You go through stuff. You live and you learn, man. You grow better as a professional.”
Everybody does change, and Talib’s story is one that should probably shared with younger kids who also hope to one day achieve their dream. That is, of course, unless a teacher wants to step in and put a stop to that idea.