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    A God-fearing little tailor takes the USA by surprise


    Purdy tales, Super Bowl, Jesus
    A God-fearing little tailor takes the USA by surprise

    Brock Purdy is an NFL superstar – but seems more like a shy high school senior in Bible study. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback was once the very last player chosen in the league, and his Super Bowl fairy tale now makes even the Brothers Grimm jealous.

    Once upon a time there was a poor, young hero who made up for his physical inferiority with cleverness and cleverness, and through several trials proved himself ready for greater things. Sounds like a fairy tale? It is.

    “The Brave Little Tailor” by the Brothers Grimm from 1812 is a typical David versus Goliath story in which the underdog triumphs through courage and intelligence. It's a lesson in using mind over body, strategy over strength, and intelligence over intimidation. But on closer inspection, the adventure fits perfectly with the final game for the NFL crown. With Brock Purdy – a brave underdog who has been ridiculed his entire career and is now overrunning the league – on one side, and the football giant, the intimidating serial winner from Kansas City, on the other.

    However, the slight quarterback looked like a shy teenager and not at all brave when he sneaked onto the small podium in the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas on Tuesday in a black hoodie with a 49ers jersey on top. A body that could belong to a 16 year old. The hair was neatly cut, not a single stubble on the face. More high school graduate than NFL star. Or rather Bible study students (more on that later).

    Purdy as a stark contrast to NFL stars

    Brock Purdy blushes slightly at the first questions. The 24-year-old visibly feels uncomfortable in front of the army of reporters. Literally collapses in his chair. He doesn't love this part of his job, but he loves the other part even more: He is the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers and is in only his second NFL season with his team in the Super Bowl. On Sunday we play against the reigning champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

    But Purdy is extremely grounded and modest for his age and doesn't care much about the hype surrounding himself. “The bottom line is that life is not about you,” he said at the Super Bowl opening press conference on Monday. “That's what I believe in. Being a part of something bigger than yourself. You get caught up in all the fame and status, but I think that's a superficial life. That can fade away pretty quickly. “

    No earrings, no bling, no cap on your head. In terms of appearance and type, Purdy is a stark contrast to other NFL stars and also to Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs' superstar quarterback, who is already an old hand and always comes across as confident, stylish and relaxed. But Purdy is taking part in the Super Bowl hype for the first time.

    But the young playmaker survived the media rush after 30 minutes of volleys of questions. Just like almost all difficulties on the football field. The masses love him for this in the USA, and he received minutes-long chants at the opening ceremony on Monday. In the Super Bowl, Purdy aims to hoist the 49ers' first Lombardi Trophy since the 1994 season – and sixth overall – and continue the proud legacy of quarterback legends Joe Montana and Steve Young. Something that no one would have thought he could do two years ago. Even now, many people don't trust him to do that.

    Purdy's journey from Mr. Irrelevant to Mr. Important

    Purdy is the absolute underdog coming into the NFL. You can't get more “David” and Schneiderlein. Because no fairy tale is without obstacles. As “Mr. Irrelevant,” he will be the very last player selected in the 2022 draft. Back then, he and his family were still completely freaking out at home in front of the television. From this moment on, Purdy receives attention, but is consistently underestimated in the league, after all, he is the “worst” NFL professional of his year. It stayed that way even when he moved into the starting lineup due to the injuries to the two quarterbacks in front of him and celebrated his first successes with his 49ers.

    Now this appearance in the Super Bowl, in only his second season, something some number one picks never achieved in their entire careers. Mr. Irrelevant becomes Mr. Relevant. Mr. Important writes his own Grimm fairy tale, which no one ever thought he could do. Of course not. Even now, so shortly before the most important game in US sports, the youngster is still being criticized. Fellow playmaker Cam Newton says these days that Purdy is only “the ten best player on the 49ers.”

    Is Purdy only successful because Coach Kyle Shanahan's system makes quarterbacks look good? Nonsense, the Chiefs around Mahomes rely even more on the superstar's throws. Because he has great offensive players around him? Quarterbacks like Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys), Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens) also have these as a gift. And yet: Purdy already has more Super Bowl appearances in his statistics than all the highly traded star quarterbacks combined.

    Brothers Grimm suit Purdy

    Physically, Purdy is completely inferior to Prescott, Allen and Jackson, just like the little tailor. His 185 centimeters and 96 kilos also don't come close to Mahomes' finesse and agility. But brave and courageous, the 49ers quarterback always dares to throw the difficult passes. In small, narrow windows. With a high risk of errors and a constant risk of an interception. But he is usually successful, which is one of the reasons why his team is in the final. The tailor's “seven in one go”, in this case seven points that are awarded for a touchdown plus an additional point, are easy for Purdy. Although he probably won't engrave the mantra on a belt.

    In fact, when asked by in the media round on Tuesday, he confessed that he had never heard of the Grimm Brothers and their fairy tales. However, he can certainly recognize himself in the story of the brave little tailor. “Since high school, I've never been the biggest, fastest or strongest, but I've always found ways to win,” Purdy explains. “I use my head and anticipate things instead of jumping over people or throwing the ball 70 yards.” He also believes that he is underestimated, among other things, because he looks the way he looks “and doesn't have the strongest arm in the world.”

    And so Purdy developed the ability to remain extremely cool under pressure, which should help him against the Chiefs' extremely strong defense. He has a high level of game intelligence and resilience, for example in the conference final against the Detroit Lions he threw in surprisingly varied runs of his own, and became a symbol of cleverness, bravery and perseverance in these playoffs. Twice he led his team from a deficit to a late victory. Against the Lions, his team was down by 17 points.

    Little tailor Purdy loves simplicity

    Furthermore, Purdy shows that the mere fact of being underestimated makes a person particularly strong. But he also has another source of strength. According to him, the most important thing in his life: God. The playmaker is extremely religious and speaks particularly seriously and thoughtfully on this topic, giving long answers. He tells the media group that this year he has primarily focused on Psalm 23 of the Bible. The lord is my shepherd. For him this means: “I already have everything I need from the Good Shepherd and from Jesus.” Simplicity is an important part of Purdy's journey. This is also how he takes the USA by surprise, which only knows sensationalism from the NFL.

    “I've never tried to cling tightly to the football life,” says Purdy, shortly before he is finally allowed to escape from the media circle. “Let's see what God has in store for me. I've been faithful to him and he's taken me to places I never imagined.” One is Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

    Can the brave NFL tailor there pass all the tests that the Chiefs place on him? Anyone who still doubts this possibility given the transformation from Mr. Irrelevant to Mr. Important should quickly pick up the Grimm complete works.

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