"player eats at my restaurant"

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    aeneas1 wrote:

    my brother, who recently joined my staff, said the guy on table 8 is looking for you, says he’s here to collect some money you owe, i looked over and saw the giant and just laughed, while pitying the poor soul who ever did him wrong. then my bro, who had been taking care of them, went up and said “listen, i hate to be that guy, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but you have to be an nfler”… the guy just laughed and said yeah, i play defensive tackle and some end for the atlanta falcons.

    he then got up and came over to the bar where i was standing and said so you’re a football fan too, and we just started talking pro football, for about a half an hour, just the nicest friggin’ guy in the world, and his girlfriend joined the convo too, an absolute doll.

    anyway, i had never heard of the guy, his name was jack crawford, who i had to google when he left… he was drafted in the 5th round by the raiders, out of penn state, never saw a lot of action with the raiders, was waived after 2 years, the cowboys picked him up, and he ended up starting 11 games in his final year there, then he signed a 3-year deal with the falcons in 2017…. it’s amazing, just 12 starts in 5 years as a pro, 11 came in his final year with the cowboys in 2016, and the falcons sign him to a 3-year $10 million+ deal, with $3.5 million guaranteed in 2017. not too friggin’ shabby… i will say, a $3 million pay out for the 2017 season couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. and he left a $30 tip on a $48 tab, ha ha.

    anyway, i asked him about camps and practices, if he thought they were different from team to team, he said beyond different, night and day, said the cowboys was by far the hardest (compared to the raiders and falcons), said they love to run the players to death (reminded me of the recent patriots article), and he added that they have the cba down to a science, that they get the absolute max hitting, pads and time on the practice field that the agreement allows.

    interestingly he’s from london, a thick british accent, said he was never really into sports but loved watching nfl football as a kid, and when he came to the states the plan was to play basketball because of his height (he’s listed at 6’5″ but i’d say he’s 6’6” at least, he’s a tall dude), but he got a shot at playing football and ended up getting a football scholarship to penn state.

    i asked him if he was familiar with pro football focus (because the pff founder is from london as well, who never really played sports, but fell in love with nfl football too as a kid) – his face cringed as he said yeah, and then added they don’t know what they’re doing, they act like they know play responsibilities/assignments when they grade, and they don’t, ha ha… but he added that coaches and nfl people pay a lot of attention to pff (fwiw, pff has graded crawford poorly every year he’s been in the league).

    also, he wore a flat-billed atlanta falcons cap pulled all the way down just above his eyes, thought it was just a fashion statement, but when googling his name i discovered he has alopecia, and as a result no eyebrows, so my guess is that he’s self conscious about it, and was covering them.

    anyhoo, it was a fun chat, with a really nice guy…

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