One of the NFL players a lot of Quebecers will be watching for on Super Bowl Sunday is No. 76 for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mont Saint-Hilaire native Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a physician who is also an offensive lineman for Kansas City. The “local boy” is the only active doctor playing the NFL.
“I think it opens the door for even more student-athletes to chase that dream, to be doctors, lawyers, engineers and being great professional athletes as well,” Ronald Hilaire, the head coach of the McGill football team told Global News.
Hilaire has both worked with the NFL star and against him as coach of an opposing team. Hilaire says it’s an extremely proud moment for McGill to have an alumnus competing on one of the world’s biggest sporting stages.
“Your dreams can come true where ever you go,” Hilaire said.
One sports economist says Duvernay-Tardif is living a dual role — one where the athlete competes in a physical sport where injuries are commonplace while also carrying the title M.D.
“This should encourage kids to take up football. However, he’s a medical doctor and he’s aware of the damage to the brain from repeated hits, especially playing offensive line,” Moshe Lander, a sports economist at Concordia University, told Global News.
Sports bar owners are hoping to cash in on Duvernay-Tardif’s appearance. His Chiefs will be taking on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2
“They’re just excited that somebody that played for them is actually going to be playing in the Super Bowl,” Colleen Cheryl Souva, manager at Station des Sports told Global News.
Many fans just hope No. 76 can add Super Bowl champion to his long list of achievements.