Jets’ CB/ST Justin Hardee just spoke with the New York media, and we’re ready to run through a wall. It’s not hard to root for millionaire athletes when they talk like this:
New #Jets CB/ST Justin Hardee stood up and pointed to his chest when asked what makes him so great on special teams: “I got heart. I play like I’m trying to feed my son. I play like I told my mother I was gonna play hard. She’s up in the sky watching me. I cannot disappoint her.” pic.twitter.com/bDgiYtuboU— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 18, 2021
For once, an athlete who’s honest about the task at hand: He plays “like he’s feeding his son,” which he literally is. He plays like he promised his own mother — who’s since passed away — that he would. Hardee concludes that she’s the reason he plays the way he does.
What front office or fan base wouldn’t want a player who can’t lose motivation?
What drives him has nothing to do with Instagram glory or TikTok likes (cough, cough, JuJu Smith-Schuster). Hardee is a man who’s passionate about the legacy he’ll leave behind, and that’s noticeable from the tone of his voice.
Most athletes today go through the motions and give generic media responses, like “We’re gonna put one foot in front of the other and play our hardest.” Those always come off as boring and uninspiring. But Justin Hardee and his refreshing attitude have us hyped up on a Thursday afternoon five months ahead of Week 1 kick-off…