FLORHAM PARK, NJ—Joe Anderson held a sign outside of NRG Stadium informing passersby, who happened to play for the Houston Texans, “Will Run Routes 4 Food.” Fourteen hundred miles away, the New York Jets noticed.
Gang Green signed the undrafted wide receiver who saw time with the Chicago Bears in 2012 and 2013. Breitbart Sports caught up with Anderson at the Jets complex in Florham Park, New Jersey, where he explained how the unconventional idea came to him, how he felt about inspiring so many others, and the powerful force in his life that motivates him to serve as a “light” to others.
Breitbart Sports: Whose idea was it to stand outside of NRG Stadium looking for an NFL job with a sign around your neck?
Anderson: That was my idea. God just gave me a vision. I stuck with it. I went with it. I prayed about it, and went ahead and did it.
Breitbart Sports: How long were you standing out there?
Anderson: Four days.
Breitbart Sports: How many hours a day?
Anderson: Two. I tried to come in the morning when [the Houston Texans] come to work. You can’t miss me. You gotta drive right by me.
Breitbart Sports: Who did you see from the Texans when you were standing out there?
Anderson: Players. Arian Foster, Duane Brown. But when they went past. I was in my own little world. I didn’t try to make eye contact. I just kind of looked off. I wanted them to understand why I was there. I was there to get an opportunity. I wasn’t looking for people to praise me about it.
Breitbart Sports: Did holding the sign in Houston help you get the job with the Jets?
Anderson: When they brought me in for the workout, I capitalized on it. If I didn’t come in and work hard, and they didn’t like what they see, I ain’t getting signed. They saw goodness in me. I’m grateful to be here. I’m just a small piece to the puzzle. Just working my way to be a bigger piece. I’m grateful to be on the practice squad. Just keeping chopping wood every day until the tree falls. One day I will find myself starting, God willing.
I just come to practice ready to work every day, and take advantage of the little opportunities I’m given. When you are given a small opportunities that is an opportunity for a bigger one later on. But you can’t get the bigger one later on if you don’t take care of the small one.
Breitbart Sports: How do you feel about all the people out there that you inspired?
Anderson: Anytime you get a chance to positively inspire somebody, that is big. Encourage somebody, that’s big. Even outside of football. So many people are ready to give up on themselves, ready to give up on life, and for you to be part of the reason they still want to hold on, that’s big.
You can’t really do nothing but be grateful that God chose me to be that person, in that moment to keep somebody else going, keep somebody else believing in their dreams. When other people are tell you, “You can’t do this,” or “Give up,” you don’t have to give up. When you face adversity, it’s all about how you respond to it, rather than just laying down and surrendering. I’m just grateful I can be that push for somebody else to keep going.
Breitbart Sports: You seem very driven by your faith . . .
Anderson: I’m a Christian. I just love the Lord.
Breitbart Sports: What church do you go to?
Anderson: Temple of Victoria Church in Houston.
Breitbart Sports: How did you turn into the person you are today?
Anderson: That right there comes with denying me. When you deny your flesh, it’s so easy to come closer to Jesus, as long as you live by the flesh. At the end of the day, when you truly die for yourself you are able to be closer to God and understand what you are put here for—you understand it’s not about you. It’s not about Joe. Even right now, it’s not about me, it’s about the team. How can I be a light to this team? How can I make people around me better? This is about being a light, being a good person. That is all it’s about.