Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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I love a good come-out-of-nowhere, underdog story, especially in the world of sports. The New England Patriots are looking for talent to improve their currently mediocre team. They’re hoping they may have found such a person in a North Dakota pizza shop.

Sebastian Gutierrez is a 6-foot-6, the 295-pound offensive lineman who played at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. The 24-year-old signed in May as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Denver Broncos, but was released in August. Since then, he has been working at Uncle Maddio’s pizza in Minot while waiting for another team to ink him.

And that’s exactly what happened.

According to UPI, Gutierrez signed a contract to join New England’s practice squad last week. Losson Leonard, owner of the pizza shop proudly posted the news on Facebook:

Well never thought in a million years I would have a NFL player working for me! Offensive Lineman Rookie Sebastian...

Posted by Losson Leonard on Wednesday, October 5, 2022

I’ve never been much of a Patriots fan but I’m rooting for Sebastian to stick with the team and be able to live out his NFL dream. His story reminds me of Vince Papale, who earned a roster spot with the Philadelphia Eagles at the age of 30, becoming the oldest rookie non-kicker in NFL history. He never even played college football. Papale went on to play wide receiver and special teams for the Eagles for three seasons and his story was the inspiration behind the 2006 film Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg.