POI – From Futbal to Football: Jermaine Embraces His Athletic Lifestyle

This story almost had an untimely ending, but as it turns out, the story is just beginning. Global Connections Graphic Designer Jermaine B. recently joined two sports leagues – football and soccer – only to suffer a torn meniscus in early July.

But he hasn’t let the injury stop him – he’ll be back soon. The sports will have to wait, but Jermaine is already going back to the gym despite hobbling around on crutches.

“I like to be active,” he said. “I’m not a person to sit at home. There’s something wrong with my knee, but I still went to the gym yesterday. I can still get around.”

This is why Jermaine joined the football and soccer teams in the first place – he enjoys the challenge. It all started when his brother-in-law asked him to join his football league, which includes pads, tackling and all.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Jermaine grew up playing Europe’s most popular sport: soccer. Still, something attracted him to the brute force of American football – the helmets, the jerseys, enticing gameplay.

“I always loved watching football,” he said. “I stayed up until 4 in the morning just to watch a game. When I had the opportunity to play it, I wanted to give it a shot.”

So Jermaine bought helmets and pads and joined the league, which has five games in a season. He played in four of them because his honeymoon overlapped with a game, but Jermaine quickly earned respect from his teammates while playing cornerback (the player who defends wide receivers). He had never played football before, yet earned the moniker “Little Beast” with his tenacity.

“I always give 120 percent,” Jermaine said. “I don’t care how big or small you are, if you have pads or not. I’ve played so many sports that I have that ‘vision.’ That’s how I got my nickname.”

He wasn’t done signing up for amateur sports leagues yet. While on his honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, Jermaine met a man from Kansas City of all places. He assumed that since Jermaine was European that he knew how to kick a ball and asked him to join an indoor soccer team. Jermaine has been kicking balls since he was 4 years old, so it was only natural.

It didn’t take long before Jermaine’s high-action lifestyle hit a bit of a snag. During his fourth game, as he describes it, his “body turned but his leg didn’t” and he felt a little pop in the knee. Fearing that it was a torn MCL or ACL, Jermaine was relieved to learn that it was “just” a torn meniscus. Chances are that he won’t need surgery, just a month or two of recovery. It’s only been a couple weeks, but he’s already hobbling around without crutches.

Maybe someone who just purchased a house, has a full-time job, a wife, a dog and other adult responsibilities would realize their mortality and cut their losses. But not Jermaine. He’s dedicated to getting back on the field ASAP.

“As soon as I’m ready to roll, I’m back at it,” he said.

Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for our Little Beast!