Like most 23-year-olds fresh out of college, I had a job interview.
It was May 2013, and my senior year of football at Minnesota State–Mankato had ended a few months earlier. I still wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do after college, but I knew a guy who knew a guy at a place called Patterson Dental, and he put in a good word for me.
The job was … well, basically, I’d be selling dental equipment. It was actually more of an internship, but it was a pretty decent opportunity at a really good company. So I put on a suit and tie and went in for an interview. It was a good interview. But I remember that at one point, the interviewer asked me one of those cliché interview questions.
“If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?”
He’d obviously know I was lying if I said, “To be in dental equipment sales!” So I told him the truth.
“To play in the NFL.”
The guy’s head kind of popped up, and he gave me this … look. I don’t know how to really describe it, but I knew that look because it was one I had seen before — only a few months earlier, actually. It was a few days after my last college game and I came home to my girlfriend Caitlin — who’s now my wife — and said, “You know what? I want to play in the NFL, so I’m gonna give it a shot and see what happens.”
And she gave me that same look.
Then she said, “You sure you don’t want to just get a normal job?”
https://www.theplayerstribune.com/adam-thielen-vikings/And it still hits me every time I go to my locker on game day and I see the Vikings jersey hanging up in my locker with my name on the back. I mean, I grew up watching this team, but never got to see the Vikings win a Super Bowl. I’ve witnessed the same heartbreak over the years that all Vikings fans have. The kick in ’98. The 2000 NFC championship. The Favre interception against the Saints. There have been so many great players and great teams for as long as I’ve been watching the Vikings, but we’ve never gotten over that hump and won a championship.
Now, I get to put on the purple and gold and help my team work towards that goal.