By ZACK KELBERMAN
(247 SPORTS) – Life comes at you fast, even if you’re a (soon-to-be) multi-millionaire NFL player.
The player is Denver Broncos rookie and fifth-overall draft pick Bradley Chubb, who on Wednesday shared a flight from Denver to Los Angeles with Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko.
Life is what happened when an unknowing Broncos (?) fan found himself squished next to the 6-foot-4, 269-pound outside linebacker.
And … well, allow Klemko to set the scene:
Sitting on a plane from Denver to LA. Bradley Chubb sitting one row ahead, stuffed in middle seat.
Guy in window: sorry man, I feel bad.
Chubb: it’s okay
Guy: so you play for the broncos?
Guy: are you guys excited about this new DE… Chubb?
Chubb: that’s me actually.
Oh. That’s not awkward at all. At least Chubb was a good sport about the exchange, though; he responded to Klemko’s tweet with a pair of crying-laughing emojis, which is what he must have been doing inside after that ill-fated question was posed.
A known jokester and perennial prankster at North Carolina State, it’s something of a surprise that Chubb didn’t take this “fan” on more of a ride — from what we can infer based on this anecdote, anyway.
Then again, he did say it would be a while before the realization of becoming a professional football player hits him.
“I think it’s going to take getting out on the field,” Chubb said during his post-draft press conference on April 27. “Having all this, doing all the things today and meeting everyone today, it really still hasn’t sunk in that I’m living out my dream of playing in the NFL. I feel like when I hit the field and get around the guys is when it’s really going to hit me. Right now, with my emotions, I’m just so excited I can’t even really put it into words.”
He also intimated that he has no fancy purchases in mind with his first contract.
“No, not right now,” he told reporters following last week’s rookie minicamp. “I’m still trying to figure out this playbook, let alone figure out what I’m going to do with some money. My focus right now is just on the football aspect, getting all of this down and hopefully making contributions so that I can earn that paycheck.”
Based on the league’s slotted pay scale, Chubb will sign a fully-guaranteed, four-year deal worth $27.525 million, with an $18.098 million signing bonus, making him the 11th highest-paid player on the team.
Methinks he will afford to splurge on first class — or dare I say, private flight accommodations — and spare himself the indignity of middle-seat hijinks.