Everson Griffen and Gary Kubiak have gone through some similar experiences during their journeys leading up to helping the Minnesota Vikings find success in 2019.
The saying, “life comes at you fast,” is one that is all too familiar to some people today. Of course, it’s used to refer to the unexpected events that show up to your personal party without an invitation.
Not to be confused when the invitation is actually sent out, that is, when an individual makes a poor decision. Consistently showing up to work late will inevitably lead to your employer rewarding you with a permanent, unpaid vacation.
On the opposite end of the spectrum though, It’s incredibly tough when one’s life is altered due to circumstances beyond their control.
Take Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen for example. Griffen is a three-time Pro Bowler, star edge rusher, team captain patch on his jersey, and No. 19 on the NFL Top 100 player list of 2018.
Coming off a disappointing finish to the 2017 playoffs, Griffen was a key piece to the Vikings’ aspiring championship puzzle last year. That was until his 2018 season came to a halt after just two games.
The events that led up to Griffen’s brief departure from Minnesota is none of our business to speculate. That is up to him to share if he ever decides to do so. What is clear, however, is that his passion, his purpose, and his livelihood of football were temporarily taken from him.
Now, after his five-week absence, Griffen did return for the Vikings’ game against New Orleans Saints and he continued to play on through the rest of the season. But his play on the field did take a dip likely because of the many factors the public may or may not be privy to.
Returning to your job after such a personal event transpiring in the public eye will undoubtedly add an extra element of weight on your shoulders in trying to pick up where you left off. And Griffen’s case is just a short term example.
We can look at a more recent health-related situation that resulted in a longer, extended absence. This is something that happened with new Vikings assistant head coach Gary Kubiak not too long ago.
Kubiak comes with a pedigree of championship coaching experience, including his tenure as the head coach for the Denver Broncos in 2016.
During his head coaching tenure with Denver and the Houston Texans, he dealt with multiple health scares that caused him to take separate periods of time off during the season. Ultimately, Kubiak’s health issues forced him to retire from coaching altogether after his Broncos completed the 2016 season with a 24-6 victory over the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.
It’s one thing to deal with something significant that you weren’t planning for. It’s another thing when that thing flips your whole world upside down devoiding you of the fuel that makes your engine go.
And now it’s a new day where Griffen has had the entire offseason to reboot where he presumably was able to take time for himself and his family before re-joining the team in the spring to prepare for the upcoming 2019 season.
Kubiak, after two years removed from coaching, is also back in the fold.
Although he holds the high ranking title of assistant head coach, Kubiak is primarily responsible for laying down the groundwork of Minnesota’s new offensive scheme while also serving in an advisory role to Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
With Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer serving as the face of the entire coaching staff, Kubiak ideally won’t have the same level of grind to work through and deal with as he previously did as the lead guy in Denver and Houston.
For both of these members of the Vikings, it seems to be, through the uninvited crap in their lives, they’ve emerged above the water and regained access to their purpose. Thus achieving what so many of us hope to do in the aftermath when life hits us fast, finding their Happy place.