One moment, Tiquan Underwood is virtually a nameless wide receiver in the National Football League. The next, he is an example on how to handle misfortune with class.
Many people would lambaste their former team after being dismissed from its roster on the eve of the Super Bowl, arguably the world’s grandest event in sports. Underwood did no such thing, and for that, he is praiseworthy.
The Patriots released the 6-1, 183-pounder last Saturday, one day before Super Bowl XLVI, to promote defensive end Alex Silvestro from the team’s practice squad.
This strategy by New England was not effective, as it was defeated 21-17 by the New York Giants.
Underwood caught a lowly three passes for 30 yards during the five games he played for New England in 2011. Since being drafted 253rd overall in 2009, Underwood has been cut three times, once by the Jacksonville Jaguars and twice by the Patriots.
The man clearly is no superstar, and his most recent release should be no surprise to anyone. The only issue here is when the release took place. Underwood spent an entire week preparing for the big night with his team in Indianapolis, Ind. only to have it all ripped away roughly 24 hours before game time.
The world expected Underwood to waste little time condemning the Patriots organization for its heartless decision. He was quick to respond, but traveled the high road instead. Expressing himself on Twitter, he said his release would serve as motivation and he wished the Patriots luck.
“This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION,” Underwood tweeted Saturday. “I Been Thru A LOT…But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head….Thank You Lord #Blessed . . . Good Luck To The New Enland Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates… #PatsNation.”
Underwood even cheered for the Patriots via Twitter throughout the game.
It does not get any better than that; he is one class act.
Everyone faces moments when he or she wants nothing more than to respond coldly to a raw deal. However, that is never the way to handle a situation. Acting positively both preserves peace and makes the most of any bad experience.
This is a route seldom taken, and it is great to see that Underwood is one of the few who chose it.
Underwood’s modest career statistics demonstrate that he is no act to follow on the field. But when it comes to managing harsh times off the field, he leads by example.