Introducing the Undrafted Hall of Fame… We’re all familiar with Canton, Ohio, where the busts of the greatest NFL players of all time all stand proud. Recently the Premier League joined in, inducting the likes of Alan Shearer and Steve Gerrard into the Premier Leagues official hall of fame.
But Undrafted decided there needs to be a hall for the people. Highlights and moments that deserve their very own place in history, permanently recognised as the greatest moments in the world of sports. We’ve all seen Didier Drogba head home in the Champions League final, or Ray Allens step back three pointer in the clutch. The Undrafted Hall of Fame is not for those moments. So how will it work?
As our brand grows, our very own Hall of Fame will grow with it, and we’ll create a fixture to freeze these moments in time, so they’re never forgotten. It’s for the moments you won’t find on a highlight reel. It’s for the moments that deserve to be recognised. Something that tugs on the heart strings, or makes you laugh when you think about it. A moment from a fan that sticks with you. Sports bring us the greatest moments of joy, and produce the most incredible stories. Here are five moments i’ve chosen to give you an example of the types of things that should be nominated, and each month, the community, that’s you guys, will send us your tweets of moments you’ve come across, and at the end of each month 5 more nominees will be put forward, and two more inductees will be introduced to the Undrafted Hall of Fame. In it’s first month, the five below, plus one from each member of the Undrafted team will be nominated, and our Hall of Fame will begin with 5 successful inductees.
So here’s just a few of the many moments i’ve collected over time, to mark the very beginning of the Undrafted HoF.
Nominee 1 – German Dario Gomez Becerra
Now first of all let me just say a gigantic f*ck you to the team/neutral cars that all simply drove by him. This young man, who is literally 18 years old at the time of this clip, held his wheel in the air, calling for help as each and every car drove past him. The reality sets in for him and as he starts crying it really hits you in the feels. Horrible stuff. The commentary team are heard saying that the neutral cars should be stopping to help him, and yet he’s left behind. You can feel the despair as all of that training, hard work and commitment begins to feel worthless, and he sits down on the side of the road for a good old cry. I don’t blame him. The young Colombian has come from across the world to compete in these 2019 world championships, and because of the misfortune of an issue with his wheel/tyre, he almost lost it all.
But THIS GUY is a nominee for the Undrafted Hall of Fame because he dusted himself off, stood up, and started MARCHING like a champion. At just 18 years old, a million miles from home, German said ‘f*ck this, i’ll walk it then’. At that moment he won. Not only that, he eventually got his wheel sorted, (eventually being the key word, still a huge ‘f*ck you’ to all those cars who drove past), and he finished in 60th place. He finished the damn race and for that he wins and deserves a golden bust in our brand new hall.
Nominee 2 – Coach Richard Nelloms & Jayden
I promise they’re not all tear jerkers… but Jayden’s little note and gift to his coach is what sports are all about. If that doesn’t deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame then I simply don’t know what does…
Coach Richard Nelloms was asked to help out when a father pulled out of the coaching role due to other commitments, and Nelloms said he happened to be available at the time. He wanted to use his experience of playing football to impact the lives in the youth community, and this was his chance.
CLEARLY, Coach Rich had a major impact, and young Jaylens’ heartwarming note was an example of just that. Jaylen had struggled the previous year and not enjoyed playing so much, but Nelloms changed all that.
This exchange, and the powerful hug at the end of it, is a fine example of how coaches and sports can impact youngsters around the world. So much so that Indiana locals Coach Rich and Jayden were honoured at a Colts game later that year. An inspiration to coaches everywhere, who give their time to encourage kids and adults alike to get out on the field!
What a sentiment from the Colts organisation, and a day I’m sure neither Coach Rich or Jayden will ever forget. You guys are Hall of Famers in my eyes, without a doubt.
Nominee 3 – Virginia Tech’s Wendi Williams
Right so the first two were quite emotional sporting memories. But this third one is purely iconic. Virginia Tech’s Wendi Williams (took a while to find a name), was interviewed at a Virginia Tech tailgate, handing out broccoli accompanied with a ‘Go Team, go sports’. When approached and asked to explain what was happening, her reply was ‘Hi thank you, I have no idea’. Perfection.
When i found this on twitter, it burnt itself into my memory and I’ve never forgotten it. I have to rewatch it every now and then to remind myself of the meaning of life. I feel this really encompasses what sports is to all of us as fans, and Wendi’s unique way of showing her fandom belongs in the Hall of Fame. Never change Wendi. Never change.
Nominee 4 – Dee Gordon
On September 25th 2016, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez crashed his boat in Miami, and was killed along with his two friends. The Marlins honoured his death at their next game, two days later, when they all wore the Fernandez 16 jerseys, and paid tribute to him before the game. It was an emotional night anyway, but sometimes sports throw out happenings more perfect than you could ever write.
Gordon, a leftie, took the first pitch right handed, in honour of Fernandez. He then switched to his typical leftie stance for the very second pitch of the game, and crushed it for a home run.
Gordon broke down in tears as rounded the bases, while wearing the 16 jersey of his friend Jose Fernandez, and when he reached home plate, pointed to the heavens and was met and embraced by the entire Marlins organisation. As he walks through the dugout the whole teams 16 jerseys are on full display, and the whole moment couldn’t have been scripted any better than it played out. Unbelievable scenes, and what a moment for Dee Gordon in honour of his friend.
Nominee 5 – Pink Glasses Gent – We’ll call him Romeo
Now at Undrafted we’re all for romantic mush at sporting events. But this young man is a heartbreaker in the making. To the untrained eye, he catches a game ball, turns, and hands it to the young lady, at least twice his age, sitting behind him. You’re going places young man. Balls of steel and the confidence to make a woman blush at a baseball game. Keep going young king.
Our very own Romeo made the girls day as he hands her what appears to be the ball directly out of the game, and she’s visibly touched by his extremely romantic gesture.
But WAIT, the young genius has pulled the wool over all of our eyes. The gamer never left his mitt. He handed her a dud! She’ll never know, and her day is still well and truly made, but now WE all know that young Romeo and his priceless sleight of hand, has sold her a dream. The moral of the story, KEEP THE GAMER ROMEO. A true king. Put him in the HALL.
The vote for our inaugural Hall of Fame class will commence next week! Including these five nominees… Which is your favourite?