Think being a football player is hard work? It’s nothing compared to working on a farm. And Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson should know — he does both.
In the second news story that proves some NFL players have real-life priorities, Nelson revealed in a recent interview that in the off-season, he labors on his family’s 4,000 acres in Kansas, CBS Sports reported.
And between the farm field and the football field, the former is lot more comfortable, Jordy, 30, told ESPN.
“I probably identify more as a farmer,” he said. “Around here, I’m just the farm kid that they have always known.”
To hear Nelson tell it, being a farmer is a lot harder than playing the game, and when the season is over and he heads back to Kansas, it takes him some time to “get back into farming shape.” In the NFL, Jordy spends only 2.5 hours in practice, and the rest “on our butts in a film room.”
“Well, I just came off the farm, which is from 7 or 8 in the morning until 7 or 8 at night. And honestly, farming is a lot (harder).”
Packers' Jordy Nelson signed $39M deal last year, but still works up to 12-hour days on his family farm in offseason. pic.twitter.com/F7lauTFD7L— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) August 11, 2015
Those 12 hour days involve driving a combine, rounding up a herd of 1,000 cattle, driving tractor, and working almost constantly on your feet, “trouncing through mud and snow.” Working cattle, Jordy said, is his favorite part.
Nelson said that kind of job also requires discipline, which helps him become a better player.
“Growing up … that’s where our income came from and we rely on everybody to do their part…. Hard work as well. The first thing that comes up about farming is the hard work. That connection we had as a family, being around each other, relying on one another. I think it was great.”
Jordy is a fine player, too. Last season, he placed second in total value among all wideouts and in 2013; he also started 32 games, caught 183 passes for 2,833 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Of course, Nelson doesn’t really have to go back to Kansas in the off season, The Washington Post pointed out. After all, last year Jordy signed a four-year, $39 million contract, and went to the Pro Bowl in 2014. But that’s not really the point — the point it is it’s who he is. And, it makes Nelson a better football player.
“My grandpa started (it). My dad was an only child. My dad farmed with my grandpa, and my older brother, younger sister and I helped with chores. … You have a lot of responsibility on the farm. That’s just like playing football. My family relied on me to do things on the farm and that’s what I do as a football player.”
[Photo Courtesy Chris Graythen/Getty Images]