Picture this: After years of hard work, you finally get drafted into the NFL. You've achieved your dream, and your emotions are sky-high. You're simultaneously elated, nervous and excited. With all those feelings floating around in your head, you get surprised with a message from your childhood hero.
It would be hard to keep it together, right?
That's essentially what Fanatics did to some of the biggest names in the 2023 NFL Draft. Shortly after getting drafted, top players such as Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson and many others received touching messages of encouragement from Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and a number of NFL legends.
Tears were shed.
A great new documentary short from @Fanatics "The Locker Room" shows rookies being surprised by their NFL heroes with motivational videos and signed jerseys. It was shot during last month’s Rookie Premiere in LA. pic.twitter.com/li7YeEBPAx
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2023
In addition to Brady and Rodgers, Barry Sanders, Ray Lewis, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana are among the biggest names to appear in the videos. Former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was responsible for the tears, making Chicago Bears rookie wideout Tyler Scott cry by mentioning a quote that reminded Scott of his dad.
At the end of the videos, the players were told to look under the bench they were sitting on, and they picked up a box with a signed jersey from the legend who appeared in the video. The reactions to those jerseys are the highlight of the video. Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Deuce Vaughn is extremely appreciative of the gesture, calling Sanders "the reason I play this game." Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running back Tank Bigsby quipped that he might have to sleep in his new Rice jersey.
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson probably summed up the entire experience the best. After opening a personalized jersey from Rodgers, Thompson-Robinson could only say "no f***ing way" before excitedly tapping his feet on the ground like a kid on Christmas morning.
Considering the emotional journey those rookies were on around the time the videos were shot, that feels like an appropriate response.