The Eagles. The Dolphins. The Ravens. The Browns. The Jets. The Bears.
That is the list of all the teams that cut Raheem Mostert within the first two years of his NFL career. Six different organizations that just couldn’t find a good reason to keep him around. That is also the list of all the teams that cannot believe what they saw during the NFC championship game between the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.
Makes you wonder what all those experts missed, right?
Mostert had a game of epic proportions that night. Not only because he set the all-time rushing record for a conference title game and had the Green Bay defense dazed and confused. This was also a night of redemption for the 27 year old. A night when he not only proved the scouts to be wrong but proved to himself that the dream is worth the struggle no matter how doubtful it may seem.
To think, this almost didn’t happen. Back in 2015, after being cut by the Browns, Mostert considered quitting football.
“I had a discussion with my wife, and she told me, ‘If you truly love this game, you’re gonna do what you need to do,” he explained in the locker room after Sunday’s game.
“Too many cuts,” he said. “Too many losses that I’ve taken, you know. I didn’t expect my career to start off like that, but it’s all up to God in putting me in this position.”
This is the true reason why we love sports. It’s not about highlight reels and big contracts. It’s the fact that they provide a unique arena for character and emotion. We can all relate to the underdog. We see ourselves in them when they are fighting to stay alive and we can’t help but rejoice with them when they find success. It may be just a game on TV but it’s actually the human experience unfolding in front of us.
In the eyes of many, Raheem Mostert became a hero on the gridiron that Sunday. Something tells me, though, that we were all just finally seeing what he has seen all along.