If there is one person whose year exemplified the term “turn around” this year, it was Jason Pierre-Paul. In July of this year, the star athlete was in Florida visiting his family and taking part in Fourth of July festivities when he suffered a burn to his finger. Ridicule was rampant. How could someone who was on the brink of renewing a multi-million dollar contract be so careless, some asked? But this is a man who has been the man in his family since he was in his mid-teens due to his father’s blindness. As his family’s breadwinner, he probably had to work on the Fourth of July as a kid, and here he is, a New York Giants millionaire as an adult…he has the right to frolic around a little. The accident was unfortunate, but JPP, Mr. New York Giants, Mr.#90 came back hard.
1. Making his first public appearance after the Fourth of July fireworks burn incident
Like a true warrior, Jason Pierre-Paul took to the streets of New York, knowing very well that paparazzi would be lurking about, awaiting a photo opp. Guess he figured, they could capture “first-look” photos of his hand, but they wouldn’t be able to take away the victory he was about to claim.
2. Working out after the burn incident, and preparing for his comeback.
While many wondered if there would be a “comeback”, JPP was shrugging off their incredulity, and tuning his body for the return back to the field.
3. Strutting his skills at the Tampa Buccaneers vs. New York Giants game in Tampa in November
Hand still in a cast, JPP played it on the field like it was pre-July 2015.
Here he is warming up at the James Raymond Stadium in Tampa prior to the game with the Buccaneers. [Photo Credit: M. Ehrman]
5. Pondering on life and doing serious self-reflection.
There’s not a photo to convey this “greatest moment” of Jason Pierre-Paul’s year. It isn’t like paparazzi has access to his soul. We can be sure that during this moment, JPP had a series of epiphanies about life, fame and success. Some athletes have that moment in mid-life. JPP had it while he’s still in his twenties. One minute the whole world is kissing your toes, the next nanosecond, people are going at you as if you had murdered another being, when all that occurred was your committing a careless mistake.
You can wager that JPP has learned that there is life after football, and a whole other world during it.