How Anime Fueled Mike Daniels to NFL


I remember, I think it was fourth or
fifth grade, it was in elementary school, uh, it was Halloween, they could
dress as whoever they wanted to do, he had to be Piccolo. Had to be! He had to be Piccolo. I’m like, “Where am I gonna
get a Piccolo costume from?” And we could find no type of costume of Piccolo. Right! Nothing even close to it. Right, so what I did was,
he was playing football, I got his shoulder pads and his pants, and I made him like a little…
little genie pants or somethin’, and got like a sheet, I mean like a little
turban or somethin’ out of… out of a sheet. and his cape, and I made the cape green. And made the… made the cape, right. That was the most important thing. Yes, it was. But Piccolo was his favorite
character back then. No, I think the cape was like
purple or somethin’ like that. Yeah, the… yeah, sorry. Cape was
purple. Yeah, Piccolo was green. Piccolo was green. He was green, yeah. And he didn’t want anything on his face,
he never did like nothin’ on his face, so… And that’s how he went to school. He went to school as Piccolo
with the shoulder pads. Yes, he did. Yes, he did. And that’s how I made his costume. And from then on, he was anime. Yeah, he was anime. C’mon, keep goin’. Keep goin’. Keep goin’. Right! Good. Good. Good. Yeah. My name is Mike Daniels. I am a… huge anime fan first, football player second. I love to compete. I love
to slam people around. And I love to go out there and pretend
I’m a Super Saiyan, because… They can’t stop me. ‘Bout four… Uh, four kids,
three now, one on the way. Married to a wonderful wife who has… become an anime fan herself now,
because of me. And I’ll stick to the point, though, like… We’ll watch anime together.
I’m not into everything, but I’ll get upset with him
if we start a series together and he watches an episode without me?
Like, I have a problem. So we’ve done Hunter x Hunter
and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and… A couple of other ones and so… We’re right now watching My Hero Academia
which my kids love too, which is really fun. We’ll watch anime together to the
point where my oldest, he says, “Can we watch Crunchyroll, Papa? Can
we watch My Hero Academia?” I’m like, “Yeah, we can, son.
We’ll do your homework later.” You know what I mean? So, priorities, you know what I’m sayin’? I did it, and I turned out fine. He introduced it to us. We, uh… And he made us learn! Yes… Who Piccolo was and who Goku was. Goku, yeah. And, uh, Super Saiyans. The fireball! What is it?
With them, them balls? The fireball or whatever they’re called? The, the dragon balls.
The absolute… the seven dragon balls. Oh, the dragon balls. Yeah. You don’t know nothin’. I don’t know! I don’t! Well, y’know, that comes with age. You know, I did not fit in as a kid at all. Y’know, when I was little, I was…
I was different. Best way to put it. And because of that, I… y’know, dealt with a
significant amount of bullying. I… for the longest time, I didn’t
understand it. I really didn’t. I’m like, “Why does everybody
just treat me like crap?” “Why is everybody just mean to me? Why are
people tryin’ to take my lunch money?” “Why are people, like, hittin’ me
upside my head for no reason?” And, “Why are people, like,
tryin’ to push me in the mud?” Doin’ all types of stuff. I really found a lot of joy in anime
because it was out of the norm. A lot of people weren’t into it,
a lot of people weren’t watching anime. And that’s another reason why people would kinda pick at me, but I didn’t care because I had somethin’ that
I could take pride in, that I liked. The only reason I started
playing sports was ’cause I came home cryin’ from school and my
dad said, “All right, I’mma toughen you up.” And he put me into wrestling,
and then football and baseball. When I was in high school,
I was really fit and everything, and… I remember one of my friends said, “Man, you ain’t nothin’ but a nerd
with muscles. I’m just realizin’ this!” I’m like, “Precisely!” “I’mma dork with muscles, baby!” “And there’s nothin’ you can do about it,
’cause I’ll put you in the locker!” I’ll never forget that ’cause
I think it’s hilarious. But it has the heart of the creator, and it’s
not just trying to mimic the creator. Let’s give it a buck, right? GT! You seen GT, right, Justin? Yeah, yeah. GT is cool! Honestly, the manga is still goin’ on, and the
manga’s gonna be much better than the anime. You know, whenever we met somebody
else who enjoyed anime as well, it was like, “Man, you’re
with us, man.” You know? “We’re all in this thing
together,” y’know, so… I, I really enjoyed it, and what I
enjoyed the most about it was that… It was bringin’ together a lot of us that
came from so many different walks of life. Y’know, there wasn’t like, just this
stereotypical this group or that group. It was like, man, you like
anime, you’re cool with us. Cell Games! What are you thinkin’? Frieza, right? Okay! It’s Frieza, right? Me and Mike, um… we obviously,
we first bonded over football. But, um, once I found
out he was an anime guy, and once he found out I was a real
anime guy and not, like, a poser? It was a wrap. We were pretty
much inseparable after that. He’s scary! So you mean to tell me it’s okay to… be myself, and like what I like, and… not try to conform to what’s popular? Because at the end of the day,
that stuff… goes right out the window. There, I did it again. At the end of the day,
that stuff… goes right out the window. Without question, my brother
has made me extremely proud. Not because of the whole entire NFL thing. Hands down, it’s because
of the person that he is. Y’know? We’re just blessed to say
that he has a platform to show the world that it’s okay to be you. And the fact that that is the message that
he’s just tryin’ to show to everybody? Yo, be you, it’s all right. It’s okay. You’re good enough. I can’t ask for much more, for a
much better brother than that. I can’t ask for a better
uncle to my kids than that. There is a lot of people, successful people,
that have experienced bullying. And they find an outlet, and they put
all their energy into that outlet, and then their bullies
become their fans one day. Boy, what you readin’? [inaudible] What compels you to read it? Uh, they’re just talkin’ about… Probably. One of the things about anime is… the power level of each character. And the way they increase their power levels is through working out. And practicing. Practicing their skills. And practicing their martial arts. Masterin’ their craft. Yes, yes. And, and that instilled
a good work ethic in him. I mean, I actually saw it! Well, I know that Dragon Ball has helped me, um… become a better athlete. It’s the same.
We’re preparing for a challenge. And we’re going to push our
bodies past its limits. So that we can meet and
overcome said challenge. Win this battle! Always pull,
Mike! Better the fastest step! Win it, Mike! Win! This is a sack twenty! C’mon, yeah! Good job, Mike! There you go. Get up outta this. Let’s just say that whenever I train I go until I can’t go anymore. I wanna beat myself down so badly
that my opponents can’t do it. So that when I play against
my opponents, “Pfft, this is easy.” Wh-Who are you? Who are you? Do, Do
you know what I do to myself? There’s nothing you can do to me. Nothing that I haven’t
done to myself or worse. But there’s, there are those moments,
like I said, where it’s third down, and you have to get that quarterback. And at the end of a long drive, or it’s
two minutes until the end of the game. And you have to get the ball back or you
just have to keep them from scoring. I need to get back there.
I’mma give everything I have… and I don’t care what happens,
if I start cramping… I’mma stay out there, I’m a keep pushing
through it until I can’t go anymore. That’s how I think in those
moments on the field. Do you know what you’re made of? Do you… Do you know what you went through?
Do you know how hard you pushed yourself? Do you know how much you have left to give? Then give it all and keep giving it. Until they give up. That’s how I equate my play style to
my favorite shows and characters. I really try to watch anime
whenever I have down time. Which is… very seldom. When the off season hits, where I literally am on vacation for,
like, three months straight, I’m just binging anime. All day, every day. Get up, take the kids to school,
get my workout, come home, I’m watchin’ anime. Get out my way, don’t call me,
don’t text me, leave me alone… I’m trying to enjoy my shows. Now if I have a day or
a week where I’m not… Then you’ll hear from me. Until then, if you
don’t hear from me, you know what I’m doin’.

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