Preseason in the NFL is a time when not only are athletes physical abilities tested but it’s a time when their hearts are tested and new insights are gained about the determination of an individual who wants to compete for competition sake alone.
One such example is wide receiver Devon Wylie who, this past week, made it clear that his heart is big and in the right place for a professional athlete who is clearly willing to do what it takes to make things happen.
It began when Wylie was called upon to come and try out for a spot on the Oakland Raiders Football Squad. His hurdles were distance, transportation, or lack thereof, and an exceptionally short time frame to meet the call.
Wylie is a former 49er and Kansas City Chief but was now seeking a new team to call home. He was doing what was necessary and tried out for one other team last weekend out of state. Afterward he flew into the Los Angeles airport and went to visit with a friend. He then traveled to Bakersfield, Calif. He did did so via carpool.
Once in Bakersfield he soon received a call informing him that the Oakland Raiders were giving him a tryout. The call came on Monday evening and Wylie needed to be at the Raider training camp by early am on Tuesday, the next morning. But there was a problem… a fairly large problem. The Raiders training camp was hundreds of miles away in Napa California and Wylie had no car, no access to a plane, and apparently no bus either at that late hour.
Wylie did what he had to do. He got a hold of Uber and ordered a car. His Uber ride drove him close to 300 mile to Sacramento where Mr. Wylie lives so he could pick up his car and then drive onto Napa another 60 plus miles away.
Wylie made it on time and made the team!
“I’m totally grateful,” Wylie told the team's official website after his journey. “It’s cool to get another chance when you almost see hope fading, and then a team calls and boom, it’s like, ‘oh shoot, let’s go. I’m pumped.’”
Good Luck this season Devon Wylie. And well done meeting the challenge!