“I didn’t want to play the NFL at the beginning.” Confessions of a second generation immigrant

The new issue of player essays is coming. American football is a typical gastronomic sport, and the people involved are basically Americans. However, in the NFL, the peak of American football, there are still some foreign/second-generation immigrant players. They are not infected by the native American players in a cheap jerseys strong football atmosphere. They are all incorporated into rugby early or late in the process of growing up. Today we will take a look at the New York Jets’ 68 offensive tackle, Breno Giacomini, about how a second generation of Brazilian immigrants grew up from a football country to a professional football player.

Life cycle

In the sixth grade, my life has changed forever.

At that time, my father worked as a maintenance worker at the Marriott Hotel, and the New England Patriots hosted a dinner there. He knew there would be a rich meal there, so he decided to take me to work when I had to go to school the next morning. I had a patriot player jacket that was very popular in the 1990s. Dad said to me: “You can bring a jacket and let Drew Bledsoe sign you a name. He is tall, you are tall, and you like to play quarterback.” (Dear Jets fans: I It was only 6th grade, and I was living in Malden on the edge of Boston, so of course I was a Patriot fan. It was not my fault! Now? I hate them, just like you!)

We later found out that it was a formal dinner, and thought that we couldn’t get in and signed it, but Bledsoe didn’t care about this and signed my jacket.

My dad may not know – that changed my life. Really, I saw the star quarterback I usually only see on TV and signed my jacket. Since then, he has immediately become a model of my action, and then I have been wearing that jacket until I can’t wear it anymore.

This is very common for many American children, but the difference is that I am a first generation American (or a second generation immigrant).

My parents are immigrants from the governorate of Valladaris, a city in Minas Gerais, Brazil. My father grew up on a farm, and my mother worked as a cashier in the food market where his father bought and sold beans. Like many Brazilians, they are forced to grow rapidly by their lives. They only know that they are working hard. Both of them have not graduated from high school. They work only for life every day.


Later, when they were in their early 20s, they came to the United States. My grandfather had been to Boston and suggested that they go there to discuss life. My parents didn’t know anything about Boston, and they almost never speak English. They only have each other (and me, my mother was carrying me). But they started a new life here with the idea of ​​high risk and high returns. My father’s first job was to wash the dishes, and two days after arriving here, my mother started cleaning the room for others.

As I grew up, my parents valued my and my sister’s understanding and inheritance of our traditions. We will go back to Minas Gerais in the summer to visit relatives, but parents can’t leave the US because of their documents, because they are legally entering the United States, but staying here for longer than the deadline, once they return to cheap nfl jerseys Brazil, they can’t come back. . So some of the friends I met in the church took us back to Brazil. For my parents, it is very important for me and my sister to grow as much as possible in the Brazilian tradition, which allows us to understand their origins and ideas.

It was not until I grew up that I realized what effect my “second generation immigrants” had on my worldview. I lived in a bilingual environment until the second year, and when I moved to an all-English school, I realized how growing in English and Portuguese is different from most children.

As a younger generation, my sister and I are ahead of our parents in reading and writing English. And just as they were forced to grow rapidly in Brazil when they were young, we were also affected by this situation. Every time our family goes out, my sister and I always act as parents’ translators, and their English is often not good. When we came to the phone at home, we all picked it up. As a primary school student, we always talked about things like bills in English. This also makes us feel exposed to real life when we are young, such as: Why is this bill not paid? Why are they always calling us?

For a while, my parents basically worked hard every day. They work hard to support us, and they are always working hard. Their attitude towards life has become an important factor affecting my growth and the way I work when I grow up.

In the Brazilian tradition, the more you work, the more relaxed you are after work. Therefore, our culture also includes frequent gatherings between friends and families to celebrate life together. At that time, my American friends had a birthday, and they usually had a two-hour party at Chuck E. Cheese, a place where a chain of family restaurants and entertainment centers, like the Pizza Hut with a play center. The Brazilian birthday party is different. It is like a carnival. From morning till night, there will be BBQ and music everywhere. People attending the party love to hug each other and dance together. As I get older, I can understand these differences.

After entering high school, I began to integrate more and more into American culture, and I felt that I was disconnected from the Brazilian tradition a little bit. English has become my main language. I rarely speak Portuguese and I rarely hear people speak Portuguese. My mother wants to get more opportunities here, and she also starts to use English more at work. Later we began to celebrate Thanksgiving and other American holidays, embracing American life that they had never thought of before.

In addition, sports have begun to occupy my life.

I started playing quarterback in high school, and in the second grade I was replaced by a near-end and an outside linebacker, or standing defensive end. Since then I have liked football, a physical collision. In the quarterback position, you are rarely hit because the team attacks with options. But the violent impacts made as a defensive end began to fascinate me… I love the sport. When standing on the field, I know that I will knock someone up and turn over, then all they can do is whistle, then I can go on again. You didn’t lie to me?

This is simply for me!

But my father opposed me to be so serious in sports in high school. When the 8th grade, the parents divorced, so he had limited time with us, and the coaches took me and my sister (she is playing basketball). And his old Brazilian brain is always focused on work. He used to take us to the construction site to watch him work on weekends. This is actually not bad, but I prefer to spend the weekend on the court.

Dad doesn’t understand the American sports culture. Although playing football may give me a chance to go to college or keep me away from the bad guys on the street, he just doesn’t know football. It’s as simple as that. Like all people from Brazil, he only knows football and volleyball, because my mother used to play, and even basketball he knows. But football, for him, is too strange from the sport itself or culture. On the one hand, football has made us less likely to meet, and on the other hand, it has made me farther and farther away from the Brazilian tradition, so he hated football at that time.


It wasn’t until I was pleasantly surprised by the University of Louisville scholarship that my father really knew that playing football was good for me. When I first told my parents about this news, Dad still couldn’t understand what the “scholarship” was. After the working workers who came to work explained it to him, he became very

excited. cheap nhl jerseys
“My son is going to college!” This is more important to him. As long as I can continue to receive education, he and  my mother have no opinion on football. And later, they also began to love football. In my senior year, I was invited to play Hula Bowl (a post-season bowling game in Hawaii). My dad went to Hawaii with him, and then he wanted to convince me to go all out. I didn’t have the idea of ​​playing professional football at the time, but they always tried to convince me to try.

When I received an invitation letter to participate in the draft training camp, my mother cried excitedly.

I said, “This is just a trial.”

But they know what the draft training camp means, and they have begun to understand the sport.

However, it took them a while to get used to the reality of playing professional football. They are very supportive of me, but the Governor has also urged me to save money and live my life. I used to come to Green Bay to watch a game in my rookie season, but I didn’t play much at the time. Then I became a starter at the Seattle Seahawks and saw that I was on the court every game, and they really understood that it was all true. Now they are my biggest fans. My father doesn’t even watch anything other than rugby. He can already see whether my every game is good or bad. I have my own complete after every game. And an accurate performance evaluation report.

Just a long time after I was away from Brazil, football eventually brought me back to Brazil.

In 2011, I joined Cleveland Brown’s near-end Gary Barnidge (my old roommate in Louisville) and our college friend Ahmed Awadallah to create a fund called American Football Without Borders. We use this fund. Host an international football training camp. AFWB stems from our common love for rugby, but this is obviously not all. One of the many goals of the fund is to look for internationally-funded children who are eligible for full scholarships – whether they are D1, D1-AA or D2 school scholarships. Both are relatively high). We are concerned about young people with poor family conditions and want to fill their time with football so that they don’t do bad things. Since 2013, we have had training camps in China, Turkey and Brazil. We wanted to go to Egypt, but the political situation in the past has given us up. All of these training camps have brought us different experiences.

But the most memorable AFWB experience for me is naturally the 2014 event in Rio de Janeiro. It’s amazing to have about 500 teenagers from all over Brazil. They quickly absorbed everything that learned the sport. They like to study those rules – why should they abandon the kick and how can they reasonably collide with each other. What surprised me even more is that my relatives actually like football. At that time, I just took the Super Bowl with the Seahawks. They all watched the game, and then they all wore the Seahawks jersey to see me. After chatting with family members who have not seen these for 7 or 8 years, they have already begun to pay attention to football. We talked about the rapid rise of rugby in Brazil.


This event made me regain my former Brazilian blood flowing in my body. Spreading football here made me feel a complete reincarnation. I have been interviewed by many media here, mostly about my Brazilian heritage. And the kids and the children who participated in the event discussed their favorite food and music in Portuguese, which made me cheap nfl jerseys feel as if I was talking to a lot of young people – so many small, thin Brazilian boys thought I used to run. Run away. I have not grown up in a family that is watching football for three or even four generations, just like traditional American families. Rugby has been so strange to me and my family. Apart from my height and athleticism, the only difference between me and this group of children is that my mother left Brazil when she was pregnant with me.

So as long as I can bring positive energy to even one child, I am willing to pay for it. And what’s even better is the help from a child who has the same blood as your family?

As I grew older, I found that I wanted to re-explore my roots. Language is the biggest aspghect. It doesn’t feel good to change Portuguese in English. I want to pass this on to my daughter. She is now 7 years old and knows some Portuguese, but not as much as I know at this age. Now even Brazilian music sounds very different. I always like Brazilian music, but the older I listen, the more I listen to songs. I can keep in touch with Portuguese. After all, I rarely use Portuguese in my parents. Talked.

In the final analysis, my parents are still very pure Brazilians. I advise my mother not to continue working, but she does not care about this. I still do the work of cleaning the room. My father still works at the Marriott Hotel and has no signs of retirement. We are happy, and my mom and dad always say it to everyone. When they walked down the streets of Malden, everyone knew they were the heroes I could enter the NFL.

It is they who have created me now, and their efforts are rewarded.