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Dragon Ball Inspired A Man To…Play Football?

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There are a lot of reasons for why people do what they do. In fact, if you go and look at the history of how certain people get into their fields, no matter what they are, you’re going to find someone who has what you might consider an “atypical origin story”. And on this Super Bowl Sunday (for you football fans out there) it might be interesting to hear that a certain player in the NFL literally owes his playing career…to Dragon Ball. For real.

Granted, we’ve seen anime influences throughout sports. Including in the NFL where some Cleveland Browns teammates did the famous “Fusion Dance” after getting a touchdown. But as noted by ComicBook.com, the Washington Post did a piece about the influence of Dragon Ball on the NFL and defensive end Carl Lawson Jr of the Cincinnati Bengals attributed the adventures of Goku to his start as a professional athlete:

“It’s the reason why I play football. I’ve been a ‘Dragon Ball’ fan since I was born. It’s so far back I can’t even remember. It’s just been a part of my life.”

That’s a fascinating thing for all sorts of reasons. Though he didn’t specifically state why the legendary anime inspired him, it’s not hard to take guesses. Because if you really boil it down, the entire show is about its characters getting stronger and stronger to fight new and impossibly powerful foes. Freiza, Cell, Lord Beerus, Jiren, Broly and more have come to fight against characters like Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, and the rest of the Z fighters. So no doubt Carl Lawson Jr and others resonated with that idea of “getting stronger to be the best” and trying to apply that to their lives.

And remember, that man, and others, made it to the NFL, so we’re safe in saying that we feel Goku would be proud. Vegeta likely wouldn’t care but that’s Vegeta for you.