Every player who comes into the NFL is, at least one some level, fulfilling a dream. Not every single person who is good enough to play at this level is somebody who legitimately loves the game, and that’s fine. It’s a business for everybody, but for some, that’s almost entirely what it is.
But just imagine being drafted by your favorite team. Players have to try not to have biases, or at least it’s probably recommended, not that it should affect their draft stock a lot. The Baltimore Ravens didn’t have a problem drafting self-acknowledged Pittsburgh Steelers fans Chris Wormley (now a Steeler) and Ben Powers. The New York Jets drafted safety Rontez Miles even though he literally has a Steelers tattoo.
Sometimes you do get to play for your team. Wormley, for example, is now with the Steelers. I’m sure most of you saw B.J. Finney’s post-draft video announcing to his friends and family that he was signing with Pittsburgh. And now the Steelers, and their fans, have been welcoming a self-proclaimed ‘superfan’ with open arms.
That would be their second of two fourth-round selections, guard Kevin Dotson, who after being selected not only made it very clear that he was a Steelers fan, but that he had the swag to back it up. After speaking with reporters over teleconference, he quickly gathered up all of his team-related memorabilia for a photo-op that was shared by the team’s Twitter account, just in case anybody doubted it.
It was pretty much immediate. The fans started to embrace him as soon as he made it readily apparent that he was, for all intents and purposes, ‘one of us’. He understands it, and is embracing it, and not taking it for granted.
“The craziest thing is the way the fans have been, and I haven’t even played yet”, he told the team’s website. “I think that is the thing that draws them to me right now, me being a fan and getting to live the dream every fan wants to have. I am living it for them, and they give me the support for that”.
“”I have had such a boost of adrenaline from them”, he added. “I can’t wait until I get to play and officially say I am a Steeler. I knew the fans were great, but I didn’t think they would be this ecstatic for me being drafted. I didn’t have as much hype as I wanted going into the draft, but the way Steelers Nation has talked to me I feel like I am an All-Pro already and I haven’t done anything. Having this support is a boost for my confidence”.
Suffice it to say that, assuming the Steelers are able to get to Latrobe this year, Dotson is going to be one of the most popular people there—though frankly it’s too soon to say how autographs and things like that would work.