Deshaun Watson Was Tipped $1,000 As A Falcons Ball Boy Because He Got A Player A Mouthpiece
Deshaun Watson plays his hometown Atlanta Falcons this weekend, marking the first time he’ll play the team he actually used to be a ball boy for. While the Houston Texans quarterback’s prepping for the game, there was a pretty awesome story that came out leading up to the contest about Watson being a ball boy for the Falcons as a kid growing up.
In the ESPN piece, Deshaun Watson details how, the summer before his freshman year at Gainesville High School in Georgia, he spend the summer picking up footballs and doing some grunt work. The job itself obviously wasn’t glorious, but, c’mon, at 14 years old, being around an NFL team would be pretty F’in dope. Plus, the team had the highly-rated quarterback prospect throwing to pro players like Roddy White, Eric Weems and Harry Douglas, among others, which had to be a trip for a kid with NFL dreams — especially since the signal-caller once admitted he gets starstruck in big moments.
While the entire experience seemed awesome for Watson, one story from the ESPN article really stood out — like how Deshaun was once tipped $1,000 for simply grabbing cornerback Asante Samuel’s mouthpiece during practice. No, seriously, look at how the Texans quarterback described the story.
Watson also learned how he wanted to treat people. During training camp one year, cornerback Asante Samuel was doing a special teams drill when he realized he forgot his mouthpiece in his locker. He asked Watson to go get it for him. After Watson brought it back, Samuel told him to come find him after practice.
“So I went to his locker after practice, and he pulled out his Louis [Vuitton] bag and pulled out a whole stack of money, and he gave me like $1,000, just to go get his mouthpiece,” Watson said. “He didn’t have to give me anything, but he did.”
Talk about easy labor for a big reward, huh? When I was 14 years old, I was busy raking bunkers and mowing tee boxes in 100-degree heat for that kind of cash, whereas Watson’s running to get a mouthpiece for an NFL player. Man, I was clearly doing something wrong.
Deshaun Watson was quoted in the piece as saying that his job was to take care of “anything that the players needed,” so, hey, his teenage self was just doing what the job entitled. But to get a $1,000 tip because of it? Yeah, that’s a pretty awesome bonus.
The entire experience seemed to leave a huge impact on Watson, helping him understand the game more, while giving him insight as to how to perfect his craft.
“It had me see a different perspective on the game and how I take care of my body and how I need to really approach each and every day, especially in practice. Everything was crisp, everything was sharp, everything was on time. And no balls really touched the ground. So that’s what I wanted: to try to perfect my craft at a young age and bring my game to another level.”
It’s always awesome hearing stories about pro athletes when they were kids. But this one about Deshaun Watson is really unique because of the job he was doing as a ball boy, and, obviously, how rare it is to snag a $1,000 tip for a task that’s incredibly easy. Wonder how he spent that “hard earned” cash at his age?