“The Guardian– Jordan Mailata, a rookie football player in the truest sense of the word, suddenly reached into his locker and plucked out a thigh pad. Just four months ago, he had no idea which body part it was supposed to protect.
“When I came into rookie minicamp, I said, ‘What are these?’” Mailata, the first-year Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle, tells the Guardian. “They said, ‘They’re your pads.’ I said, ‘Well, where do they go?’ They showed me the shorts, and they said, ‘They go here and here and here.’ And I was like, ‘Oh! Damn!’”
The Eagles had selected Mailata in the seventh round of the NFL draft even though he had never played American football. But Mailata, a 21-year-old Australian, stands 6ft 8in and weighs 346lbs and was so powerful and nimble as an under-20 rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs that the Eagles thought he could be converted into an NFL offensive lineman.
How raw was Mailata? Well, the Eagles opener was the first NFL regular-season game he had ever seen live.
“I was sitting on the sideline,” he says, smiling, “and I was like, ‘Shit. I’m on the same team that’s playing!’ It was very surreal. Who would have ever thought that my first ever game I went to was after I made the league? It’s kind of funny it turned out that way. It’s not even just about learning the game. It’s about doing certain things. Just to have that new experience is a unique experience. Every week it’s like that.”
The Eagles’ decision to draft Mailata was seen by many as a gamble at best, and a gimmick at worst. But Mailata impressed the defending Super Bowl champions during training camp and preseason, and he earned a spot on their 53-man roster.”
Uhm, so why have him on the offensive line when you could put this monster at running back?
It’s just play after play after play of this guy dragging entire teams on his back or throwing mother fuckers through the ground with a vicious stiff arm, completely emasculating them in front of their friends and family.
This guy will probably get the opportunity to play, eventually. I can also almost guarantee that there’s a movie script currently being written about his life and his journey to the NFL. And I can almost guarantee who they’re going to get to play Mailata as the main character too.
This guy. The Great Khali.