It’s not everyday you see a professional athlete come out and write something for everyone to see while they’re still playing their respective sport.
Sure, a lot of athletes write a book or release some sort of literature after their playing days are over; either they were one of the all-time greats sharing their success stories and favorite memories; unveiling the “truth” to the public about who took steroids in Major League Baseball; how they overcame drugs or went bankrupt after not being able to handle the “big spotlight” for the first time; the list goes on.
It’s more uncommon, in my opinion, to see an athlete release a piece like New Jersey Devils’ center Scott Gomez did earlier this month; The Players’ Tribune published his article “Not Done.”
Here’s an example of a pro-athlete who wrote something while he’s still playing in the NHL, but is still fresh into his recent “comeback.” Gomez had immediate success once he entered the NHL at the age of just 18-years old, but eventually went into a major (worse than a slump) downfall in his career, before returning back to New Jersey.
For those of you who don’t know Scott Gomez – he was a New Jersey Devil from the 1999-00′ season until the end of the 2007 season. He then basically broke one of the “Ten Commandants” of the New Jersey Devils; he left them for their biggest rivals across the Hudson River – the New York Rangers.
Now, what makes this article so interesting?
Gomez is simply honest in this piece. He gives you the genuine perspective of what it’s like to be a professional athlete both on and off the ice; and the perspective of one who had success early on, and then went on to experience a giant struggle to the point where he may have had to retire in his early-to-mid 30’s. Yet, thanks to the little things – he rebounded and found his stride again playing back “home” for the New Jersey Devils.
An honest piece that I admired a lot because I personally could relate to his perspectives. He answers a lot of questions in this piece…hockey fan or not I highly suggest you give this a look…
So, if you finished looking this over – WOW, right? His voice is very genuine throughout the piece, and he literally puts himself out there with nothing to lose.
Most “die-hard” Devils fans were extremely upset after he signed with New York, which is understandable to a point, but like he said, “…most of my teammates were happy for me. They understand as much as anybody that this is a business.” That’s right it’s a business..and a part of life…
It’s too bad that sometimes people/fans can’t realize professional athletes are human beings too, and are just as human as any one of us. Sometimes fans need to realize these guys have no real obligation to stay with one team during their career; even though seven years with one team is quite a while – why should he necessarily be criticized and judged?
These players have dreams growing up too, and then when a dream becomes a reality, lifestyle, and an opportunity – they need to take full advantage of it.
One other big thing that stood out to me was this, “Anyone who has ever been in a work environment where they feel their talents aren’t being properly utilized can probably relate.”
It one of the worst feelings ever, and simply demoralizing. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a pro sport, or like he said any working environment at all…that feeling and experience can certainly affect someone’s future long-term in both life and work. Most athletes seem to never be able to rebound from something like that and the journey Gomez experienced.
But, here he is in 2015, back in the red and black and making an impact once again for the Devils. Smiling, laughing, and making plays – the old Scotty Gomez we all knew and came to love is back.
I not only admire that he was able to make his comeback, but it was the way in which he did it and never forgot those little things that originally made him a successful pro. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something like that, but it’s whole another thing to actually walk the talk.