Jorge León, a lawyer from Southern California, managed to make his lifelong dream of becoming an American football player come true at age 41. A lot of people told him that he was crazy, that he was too old, that he was too small, but it didn’t work. does not prevent him from trying.
“My childhood dream was to be a professional athlete, first in my country [Mexico] and then here in the United States, ”said León. “In my thirties, I decided to embark on this path to become an American football player.
To be a football player, an athlete must weigh around 180 pounds and average at least 6’2 ”. León is 5’5 ” and weighs 140 pounds. But that didn’t intimidate him. He knocked on hundreds of doors until only one opened.
“I sent millions of emails, and only Mike [Hollis] replied “
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Mike Hollis, a former NFL player, believed León had great tenacity and skill.
“He developed a passion for kicking, but I think something very important is that he wanted to prove that a lot of people were wrong,” Hollis said.
After years of training with Hollis and a brilliant season, the Jacksonville Sharks, a National Arena League team, wanted him in their ranks.
“I gave around 90 kicks and missed only five,” León recalls.
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However, León’s dream was cut short when the football season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After the season was canceled, I suffered an injury in training and had to undergo surgery. When I finally recovered, I also caught COVID. I was in bed for about 24 days, it was horrible, ”said León.
He was about to give it all up, but found the Orlando Predators were looking for players.
Once recovered, León decided to try one last time.
“It’s like all the stars are aligned. I did a test and my performance was amazing, they asked me if I wanted to be part of their team. I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited, and sure enough, I said yes.
León made history scoring in his first game for the Predators.
“I’m the only Mexican in the National Arena League, and also the oldest at 41,” said León. “It’s for my Mexican compatriots who, even when they have problems, wake up [and do things] with joy.”
This story first appeared on NBCLA’s sister station, Telemundo 52. Haz click aquí para leer esta historia in español.