New York Jets center Nick Mangold epitomizes what it means to be a team player.
The perennial All-Pro offensive lineman has always led by example, on the field and in the locker room, and his commitment to the Jets is second to none.
So much so, in fact, that Mangold was willing to stay behind in New York with his Jets teammates, even with his sister Holley competing in the 2012 Olympics in London.
In June, Jets coach Rex Ryan implored Nick to go to London and watch Holley compete for team USA in weightlifting, but Nick could not conceive of leaving an NFL training camp and leaving his teammates.
“God bless Rex because he did offer it to me, but I don’t think I can leave my guys in the middle of training camp,” Mangold said at the time. “But we’ll figure out a way to watch, and I’m real excited and real proud for her.”
“Somehow, some way, I’ll watch it,” he said. “But I don’t know if I can do the jump over the pond in the middle of training camp.”
Well, one thing about Rex Ryan is that he’s pretty persistent. He continued to tell Nick Mangold to leave camp and go to London, assuring him that he’ll be able to catch up on what he missed in camp.
“[It's a] once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Ryan said. “To see your sister do something that is absolutely incredible, competing against the world’s best in a weightlifting competition.”
Evidently, Ryan’s persistence has won out, as Nick Mangold has left Cortland to head to London, where he will indeed get to witness Holley’s Olympic debut.
— Nick Mangold (@nickmangold) August 4, 2012
It’s a great moment for the Mangold family, and I’m glad Nick will get a chance to be there in person. He will miss the annual Green vs. White scrimmage, but nothing much more. He will likely return to camp within a week.