When it comes to sports, not everybody discovers them or embraces them the same way, or at the same time. There are very talented and notable players in the NFL right now, for example, who didn’t even pick up the game until their senior year in high school, or even in college.
But one of the common archetypes of the average football player is the football lifer, and Pittsburgh Steelers rookie undrafted free agent tight end Scott Orndoff certainly appears to be one of them. He has a true love of the game that was nourished by a father who shared the same love.
Orndoff recently pointed to his father as his mentor when it comes to football, telling the team’s website that he also played football in his youth, and even continued into college and in the semi-pro ranks. R. Scott, his father, played collegiately at U Penn and then played for the Philadelphia Stars Washington Federals in the USFL.
“He introduced me to the game”, the Steelers rookie said of his father. “He was coaching my entire life, until I got to high school he was a coach and I was always around it through him. He has been my mentor when it comes to football”.
And that is certainly not an uncommon trait among NFL players, including many successful NFL players. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is somewhat famously the son of a football coach, who thus grew up around the game and understanding the game.
There are others who come from a football playing lineage. The Steelers’ Anthony Chickillo is among them, as both his father, and his father before him, also had football careers of varying degrees of notoriety. First-year lineman Mike Matthews is the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews.
Antonio Brown, of course, is the son of arguably the greatest player in the history of the Arena Football League, ‘Touchdown’ Eddie Brown. Antonio Brown has already added around 60 or so all-purpose touchdowns, including a touchdown pass, in his seven-year career to date.
There seems to me that there is a certain attitude and tone produced in players with a football lineage, who grew up around the game, and who had learning and understanding the game as part of their upbringing.
Of course, that doesn’t automatically breed success in reaching the highest level of the game and actually performing at a high level, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Orndoff has a hill to climb to make his mark, but he knows that he has the support of his family behind him.
He described his family as motivation and that he wanted to make them proud and not let them down. He grew up loving the game and asking his father questions about the game. Now he has Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel to ask questions.