You might not be able to watch the New England Patriots on TV yet but Patriots fans, rest assured, you can see one Patriots player on TV in the next few days.
For those of you who don’t know Pats special teamer Nate Ebner has been absent from training camp thus far pursuing his other passion: rugby. Yes, he will be back with the Patriots in a couple of weeks and is expected to make the team, but for now, he is a member of the US Olympic rugby sevens team, a 12-man squad. So yes, Ebner is technically one of the 12 best rugby sevens players in the country. That would make him elite.
Here is a look at the master schedule for Olympic rugby. As you can see, the first opportunity to watch Ebner would be August 9th when the red, white and blue take on Argentina. With all the running and open field tackling he does on special teams, it will be interesting to see how he does in a sport that is all about running and open field tackling. He’s probably pretty good at it.
Rugby has always been Ebner’s first sport. He did not play high school football and at The Ohio State University, he did not play football until he was an upper classman. He was a phenomenal athlete from rugby, so he tried out for the team as a walk-on and, of course, he made it.
While Ebner is not the first NFL player to compete in the Olympic games, he is the first active NFL player to compete in the summer Olympics. Yeah, Herschel Walker pushing the bobsleigh in the winter ’92 games does not count for this.
So why exactly is Ebner doing this, again? It’s his dream, and it always has been.