In a story that will undoubtedly affect the entire world – as Fox Sports Australia would have us believe – former Rugby star, Jarryd Hayne, is ‘retiring’ from the National Football League in America.
For what feels like decades, Hayne has been in the midst of living his dream of playing in the NFL. Amongst much fanfare and hysteria from the Australian public and media outlets, Hayne has been one of our biggest international sports stories.
It is just too bad he never did too well.
Almost a year ago, Hayne wowed audiences with his grace and athleticism, stunning pundits with how quickly he adapted to a sport he had never played before. But then the regular season started.
Upon the start of the regular season the former Parramatta Eel player was waived and relegated to the San Francisco’s 49ers practice squad within two months of making his regular season NFL debut.
Preseason, where stars compete in order to show they are worth being on the actual team, and regular season proved to be different beasts for the American Football newbie.
Nonetheless, the legacy Hayne’s ill-fated NFL tenure is not all doom and gloom. He introduced a host of Australians to what American Football is all about and has eventuated in the newfound popularity of the sport in a land which largely did not give it a second thought.
Beforehand, Australians in the NFL largely filled the role of punter – the guy that kicks the ball once every 15-20 minutes – but now an American University is willing to hold a camp in Melbourne. This will give aspiring Australian gridiron players the opportunity to showcase their skills on an unprecedented stage in front of legitimate American Football coaches.
Jarryd Hayne’s tenure in the NFL was an unduly overhyped but that is no fault of Hayne himself.
As he quits the NFL, Hayne will now pursue his latest dream of competing for Fiji in the Olympics in the Rugby 7’s category.
“I’m retiring from the NFL because Fiji Rugby reached out about joining the team for the upcoming Olympics, and I simply couldn’t pass up the chance,” says Hayne.
“The Olympics has been something I’ve admired since I was a little boy and is an opportunity similar to me joining the NFL.”