Straight off the sideline, we catch up with linebacker Adrian Tracy for the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Tracy. He is devoted to his faith, quite passionate about the Steeltown community, and has a Super Bowl ring from his time with the New York Giants.
Recently, we chatted about Adrian’s growth as a person and athlete, roadblocks he has faced, and what he has his eyes and heart set on next! Check out the full interview below.
Q: How have you changed as a person and an athlete?
A: “Football has been the tool God has used to teach me life lessons, as well as spiritual strength and guidance. As an athlete and a person, I realize that effort needs to be made in order to achieve a goal, but only effort exerted in the right way will yield positive results. Efforts that are exhausted selfishly often lead in the opposite direction of my goals. Sacrifice is common and necessary for steps to be consistently made in the right direction. Obedience often means sacrifice, but it ultimately leads to blessings. For me, it would be becoming a Super Bowl Championship athlete, but even greater than that is my ever growing relationship with God as a person.”
Q: What would you say was the biggest turning point in your career?
A: “Getting released from the NY Giants, having to move in with my family and getting my Range Rover repossessed. I was at the bottom and all that I had worked to attain was taken and with that my identity. It was in that moment God started to strip and reshape me. He started to change my environment, the people I was around, but most importantly my mentality. It was a process and one I am still going through. But I found my value in God and not things. Once I fully understood that, attacking the role of an athlete became easier because the person I am is fulfilled in and through God, not by what I do, what I achieve or what I attain.”
Q: When you first decided to play in the CFL, what was the biggest adjustment for you to the Canadian game?
A: “Upon entering the CFL the major adjustment for me was the rules to the game. There were some nuances that I was not familiar with but contribute to the true essence of Canadian football.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing in Hamilton?
A: “What I appreciate most about playing in Hamilton is the fan base. The spirit of community vibrates through this city with an intense frequency. When we were 0-8 last year, the support never wavered. To see that, as a player who invests everything to this game of football week in and week out, was an extreme vote of confidence.”
Q: Jerry Glanville has quite a history in the NFL as a head coach. What is it like playing for Defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville?
A: “It’s dynamic. His reliability to us as younger players, yet remaining original and genuine is a true gift. Add his football prowess and this is an individual who truly teaches you about the game within and outside of the lines.”
Q: Can you discuss the intensity of the Argos – Tiger Cats rivalry?
A: “The intensity of this rivalry pre-dates the CFL itself. That’s because this game represents more than just sport. It represents two cultures. My hit last year on Ricky Ray that forced an interception is my most memorable moment. It was a game changing play, we secured our first victory and it was a sign of fresh beginnings.”
Q: Where do you see yourself heading with your career in the next few years?
A: “I honestly have no idea. I have clung to a verse these past few days – Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a persons heart, but the purpose of the Lord will always prevail.“ I think this sums up my position in life. I have plans, but I know that mine don’t always come to fruition like I hope, but God always seems to have a plan that works better than mine leaving me more fulfilled and better off than if I were to wallow in my own strength. So whatever, God’s purpose is for me is where I want to be.”