A look at Brock Lesnar's NFL career

brock lesnar nfl
Lesnar kitted in the colors of the Minnesota Vikings

Brock Lesnar is a lot of things – an absolute bully in the ring, a four-time WWE Heavyweight Champion, the youngest King of the Ring and Royal Rumble winner, a UFC Heavy Weight Champion, an accomplished mixed martial artist – as well as a talented footballer. The wrestler famously quit WWE back in 2004 to do what every average American, kid or adult, dreams to do – pursue a career in the NFL.

Now Lesnar isn’t the first wrestler to try his hand at American football. But what makes his story so interesting is that a top wrestler who had it all, decided to put it all aside and dare to fulfil his long cherished dream of an NFL career. With that in mind, let’s have a look at Brock Lesnar’s NFL aspirations and accomplishments.

Also read: Brock Lesnar’s net worth and salary revealed

A childhood dream

Lesnar, who had already gained fame for his wrestling skills during his youth, also pursued a football career as a student at the Webster High School, which is situated in his hometown of Webster. He had pretty much fallen in love with the game which swayed so many average Americans.

The wrestler previously spoke about his love for the game while reflecting on his UFC Heavyweight triumph, saying: "It's very basic for me. When I go home, I don't buy into any of the bullshit. Like I said, it's pretty basic: train, sleep, family, fight. It's my life. I like it. I was a star at the University Of Minnesota. I went on to WWE. Wannabe NFL player. And here I am, the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Also read: Brock Lesnar’s workout secrets revealed

“I just don't put myself out there to the fans and prostitute my private life to everybody. In today's day and age, with the Internet and cameras and cell phones, I just like being old school and living in the woods and living my life. I came from nothing, and at any moment, you can go back to having nothing.”

Unfortunately for Lesnar, his wrestling talents were too big to be ignored (he held an astonishing wrestling record of 33-0-0 at Webster) and his wrestling journey which would eventually lead to blinding stardom with the WWE had begun. Thus, his dream of running onto the field with an NFL team was dead in the water...for now.

The dream fulfilled

Lesnar was at the peak of his career when he made known his surprising decision after his event at Wrestlemania XX, putting his enviable wrestling career on hold for a chance to achieve a long cherished dream. His soon to be ex-employers WWE fully supported their star with a statement which said: “Brock Lesnar has made a personal decision to put his WWE career on hold to prepare to try out for the National Football League this season. Brock has wrestled his entire professional career in the WWE and we are proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”

Lesnar reflected on his decision during a radio interview with a Minnesota radio show and stated that despite enjoying a cherished WWE career, he had grown unhappy and wished to try his hand with the NFL now, rather than look back on what could have been with regret later in his life.

Also read: Does Brock Lesnar’s height and weight help his fighting style?

The 38-year-old was quoted as saying: “This is no load of bull; it's no WWE stunt. I am dead serious about this. I ain't afraid of anything and I ain't afraid of anybody. I've been an underdog in athletics since I was five. I got zero college offers for wrestling. Now people say I can't play football, that it's a joke. I say I can.”

He added, “I'm as good an athlete as a lot of guys in the NFL, if not better. I've always had to fight for everything. I wasn't the best technician in amateur wrestling, but I was strong, had great conditioning, and a hard head. Nobody could break me. As long as I have that, I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks.”

Thus, the long-awaited NFL dream was fulfilled in fairytale fashion with Lesnar’s hometown team – the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota’s new defensive tackle – Brock Lesnar

Lesnar won praise for his performances during the NFL Combine, which is basically a scouting event where college pros try their hand at overcoming some of the game’s toughest obstacles, under the watchful eye of NFL coaches. It was on this performance that he began his NFL journey in a fairytale fashion with the Minnesota Vikings.

Despite being an absolute beast in the ring, Lesnar, who was assigned the number 69 and given the position of Defensive Tackle for the Vikings, couldn’t help but feel nervous before his first training session with his new team. He felt like a beginner again.

The wrestler reflected on this by saying: "I was telling my girlfriend on the way down that I'm finally starting to feel like a competitor again. It kind of went away from me a little bit in the entertainment business. This is a good feeling. I missed this feeling."

Also read: What does Brock Lesnar’s tattoos mean?

Unfortunately, his dream suffered a setback after his motorbike was involved in a collision with a minivan, which left him with a broken jaw, a bruised pelvis, and a pulled groin. The multiple injuries weren’t about to deter Lesnar, who made a full recovery and linked up with the Vikings.

The hard work a footballer puts in was acknowledged by Lesnar, who found it no pleasure cruise while adjusting to training sessions. His time in training camp was indeed a learning experience for Lesnar who said: "I'm 27, which, in this league, I am not a young man. After two-and-a-half days of camp, I felt like I was 60 years old when I woke up this morning." Regarding being called a rookie: "I really wouldn't call myself a rookie. I am more like a water boy right now."

Lesnar underwent a resourceful eight-week training camp, and despite showing much promise, was omitted from the final cut at the end of the pre-season. He did receive an offer to play as a representative of the Vikings at NFL Europa, the now defunct European arm of the NFL, but he turned down the offer as he wished to spend as much quality time with his family as he could.

Also read: A look at Brock Lesnar’s tainted MMA career

Lesnar’s dream of making it in the NFL was all but over, but his undying integrity to succeed despite being a highly successful wrestler is what makes his story so interesting. We are often quick to label WWE as a ‘staged event’. But what often goes unnoticed is that even the individuals who are viewed as beefed up (over)-actors with an inflated paycheck also have dreams.

And hopefully, those myths have been vanquished after having a look at Brock Lesnar’s NFL career.