It seems like everyone is into cycling, doesn’t it? Basketball legend Reggie Miller loves riding, there’s Harrison Ford, and so too does Canadian former NFL tight end, Luke Willson. Super Bowl LVII goes down this Sunday, with the AFC champs the Kansas City Chiefs squaring off against the NFC’s Philadelphia Eagles. Cycling and football may not seem to have that much in commong, but according to Willson, there’s more than you think.
After retiring from the sport, he began riding, and loves it, riding 18-20 hours a week. Originally from Lasalle, Ontario he played for the Seattle Seahawks, the Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders, and the Baltimore Ravens. He won the Super Bowl in his rookie season, catching two passes for 17 yards in the Seahawks’ 43–8 win over the Denver Broncos.
1. Jerseys and Lycra
“When I started riding, everyone was telling me about the outfits, the jerseys and Lycra,” he jokes. “I was like dude, I’ve been wearing this stuff my whole life. Our football pants are really similar!”
Crazy to think we’ve been playing against each other since high school!! Always great to see @tcrawford98 . Keep ballin bro! #519 #windsoressexcounty pic.twitter.com/YdraYxTZtE
— Luke Willson (@LWillson_82) December 26, 2017
2. Getting tackled and crashing
Of course, there’s far more tackles in a football game than crashes in a bike race (hopefully) but the feeling of being tackled feels similar to biting it on the asphalt. “Getting smacked in football feels a lot like hitting the deck on a bike. The first time I fell, it was a wild experience…but strangely familiar.”
Since my 🇨🇦 #Thanksgiving was in October, @JordanRoos64 helps me with the 🇺🇸 #Thanksgiving. 🦃 pic.twitter.com/FHQFUsycSt
— Luke Willson (@LWillson_82) November 23, 2017
3. Sock etiquette
There are strong opinions about how to wear socks with leg warmers. Some people say it should go over the leg warmer, some say under. Turns out football players have their own ideas too. “When I was riding with a group I had my socks over the leg warmer and someone told me that was wrong,” he explains. “In football, people have their own way of wearing socks too. It’s a personal choice, some guys pull it over the pants, some under, some completely straight.”
4. Helmets and cleats
You gotta protect your noggin in both sports. And although they are a little different, you’re never going to want to forget your cleats to a race or game.
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