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Mike Evans: Harry Potter, Humility and Helping Others

My best teammate?” McCoy said. “A guy like Mike Evans. 12 years, four different organizations, and relationships with hundreds of players, yet when two-time Superbowl champion LeSean McCoy was asked about his best teammate, he said the following:


“My best teammate I’ve ever had — that doesn’t make him my best friend, but my best teammate — a guy like Mike Evans. This dude’s a great person,” McCoy said. “He buys stuff for the starters, buys for the practice squad, everybody. Holidays, Christmas gifts."


Even though impressive, the praise didn't stop there:


"In the meetings, who wants the ball? Now, [we had] Antonio Brown, so he wants the ball, right? Mike said, 'Well, look, man. If he wants the ball, give it to him. I'm thinking like, 'Damn.' I'm used to wide receivers wanting the ball. Mike was so selfless. It was amazing, bro. I've never seen a player like him."


Considering Mike Evans has the NFL record for most 1,000-yard seasons to begin a career (9) while eyeing the possibility of breaking the record for most consecutive (11), prioritizing a fellow wide receiver and potentially sacrificing self-accolades seems too good to be true.


Or does it?


Week 16 catch to earn his 9th straight 1,000-yard season..

In the social media era, where professional athletes often make headlines for their extravagant lifestyles and hot takes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans stands out as a shining example of humility and talent.


However, Mike's desire to prioritize those around him beyond the football field deserves the most attention.


Any Bucs fan understands the mentality and work ethic that has propelled Evans to become one of the most impressive players ever. Still, the media and average fan should know that behind the scenes, Evans is equally passionate about making a positive impact off the field.


I remember watching Week 1 of the 22-2023 season at the Mount Pleasant Casino and yelling at the television as Mike made a one-handed catch in the back of the endzone.


A guy beside me laughed and said, “Mike is pretty good. I heard he has a bit of an attitude, though.


In fairness, he was an Eagles fan, and sometimes what happens in Tampa doesn't escape Florida unless you’re the goat on a boat tossing trophies.



Since we were beating the Cowboys 19-3, I had time to give this Eagles fan some attention and clarity. I shared Mike's impact on the community, the Tampa Bay organization, and families in need. He became an Evans fan by the end of the evening.

Eager to impact Tampa Bay, NFL wide receiver Mike Evans and his wife, Ashli, started the M1K3 in 2017 to make a difference in the lives of children and families impacted by domestic violence.


Evans' foundation empowers youth through various strategies, including scholarships, mentoring programs, and community outreach projects. By investing in education and providing young people the tools they need to succeed, Evans helps create a brighter future for Florida residents.


Not stopping there, Mike also uses his foundation to stand against domestic violence by helping victims bounce back from their hardships, reach their potential, and live the lives they deserve. In short, Mike and his family are inspiring change.


To accomplish these goals, Mike hosts various events, such as a yearly gala and bowling night, which drive awareness and raise funds.


I was fortunate to attend one such activity a few years ago.


Unfortunately for Mike, it would create a memento that now hangs in our entertainment room.



The M1K3 bowling event helps support the Catch for Christmas program, which provides holiday gifts to local kids and families. When I was invited to the event, I considered allowing someone else to go, mainly because it would be a little harder to yell in support of a player on Sunday if he was a jerk when I met him.



Nonetheless, it was a chance to expose some youth we were helping to real NFL players, so we decided to attend. I did not know Harry Potter would make an appearance.



While at the event, one of the kids we invited noticed Mike was taking pictures with attendees. I asked him if he wanted one, and he said no, but he did want to "go live on IG" with Mike. Even though this request forced me to face my mortality and age, I agreed.


To be transparent, I did want a picture.



While waiting our turn, I noticed how Mike interacted with each person, appearing genuinely interested in meeting them. Sometimes, at events like these, the athlete will quickly shake a hand, snap the picture, and move on to the next person like they are running for re-election.


But Mike listened to the kid's comments, interacted with parents, and seemed unbothered if the interaction took 30 seconds or 5 minutes. He seemed normal. However, our exchange became a bit abnormal.



The youth and I walked up to Mike, and the young man asked to go live. Mike said cool, and off into the social media sphere they went. Then it was my turn.


I shook Mike’s hand, looked him in the eye, and said, “Can you write Harry Potter on this shirt?


For context, my wife became a big Mike Evans fan after watching an interview of him sharing that Harry Potter was his favorite. Considering she is from Maryland and a former Ravens fan, I welcomed any leverage to convert her to the Bucs, even if that now meant she would be telling anyone who would listen:


Did you know Mike Evans is a Harry Potter fan too? We both love Harry Potter!


(My wife, anytime I suggest I am a bigger Mike Evans fan.👇 )


The IG Live moment was over, and it was my turn to get Mike's autograph.


Me: “My wife is a big Harry Potter fan. You are a big Harry Potter fan. Can you write Harry Potter on this shirt?”

Mike: "Um."

Me: (Stares at Mike)

Mike: "You really want me to write that?"

Me: "Yes, but you can write your name too if you want."

Mike: "Ok..."



That moment is what LeSean Mccoy is talking about and what the Tampa Bay Community understands. While some argue that athletes must be role models, Evans' commitment goes above and beyond what is expected.


He leads by example and consistently prioritizes others' needs above his own. He understands that the city doesn’t just need to win; we need to be united and to do that, you have to be humble and hungry to bring people together. Evans' unwavering dedication to philanthropy is a testament to his character and values. He doesn't view his success as a means to an end but rather as an opportunity to create positive change in the world.


His humility and exceptional talent have earned him the respect and admiration of his teammates, fans, and the wider community. In a world where fame and fortune often overshadow the importance of giving back, Mike Evans is a shining beacon of hope.


Mike Evans prioritizes teamwork when flashy statements and social media highlights often dominate what's "trending."


Mike's commitment to philanthropy reminds us that success should be measured not just by personal achievements but also by the impact we have on the lives of others.


As we continue to cheer for Evans on the football field, let us also recognize and celebrate his contributions to society off the field. Scream for the Bucs and cheer for your fantasy football teams, but remember that change isn't just a word; it's action.


It's leveraging your platform to help others. It's prioritizing the people around you. It's going live on IG and writing Harry Potter on a shirt because an awkward adult asked you to.


It's being Mike. 💪


Bucs fan successfully converted. 😁

Disclaimer

*Statements on this blog reflect the author's personal opinions and do not represent any other person, company, or organization. The purpose of this blog is general knowledge and to bring awareness to tools, techniques, people, and organizations that bring about positive change. The reader is strongly encouraged to perform independent research about the topics discussed.

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