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Minnesota Native Defies Odds to Play for the Vikings

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

Adam Thielen has become a remarkable catch! The unrecruited, undrafted, Minnesota born and raised, small college wide receiver is unrelenting – overcoming great odds to make his home state team and jumping to the forefront as the Vikings lead receiver and one of the NFL’s elite playmakers.

Question: “As a go-to receiver, what do you have to earn from both quarterback and coach?”

Adam:  “Oh trust!!  Trust is everything in this league.  Uh trust is everything with your family and with the Lord, all that. Proving it every single day! Because uh, you know, even though I've done things in the past uh it doesn't matter. You've got to build that trust with the new quarterback, with the new offense coordinator so they can – they can trust you to go out there and-and do the things that they ask and-and be able to make the plays in the game.”                                 

Question: “A Native Minnesotan! Define for me what makes a Minnesota-made guy?”

Adam: “I think the biggest thing is just kinda hardnosed, tough, doesn't really care about the circumstances, just gets it done! When you have to live through a Minnesota (laugh) winter you kinda learn how to just-just fight through it and not really worry about anything other than just uh taking care of business that day and-and uh figure it out the next day. And how great the people are! It's a pretty special place to live.”       

Question: “Growing up as a Vikings' fan, -- you see the opportunity as remarkable?”

Adam: “I honestly, I don't really think too much about it. It's pretty cool to play for my hometown team and things like that. But right now it doesn't really feel any different than playing high school football, playing college football.  It's just – it's the same game and-and I love to play it, I love to be in that locker room with my teammates and not really thinking about anybody else.”

Question: “The Division II Minnesota State's Scholarship, at that time was your only choice, but Adam, hindsight now, why was it the best choice?”

Adam: “It was the journey.  It was the-the path that God wanted me to take.  You know, it might not have been my choice, uh but it was God's vision for me and, you know, he has a plan for us and in that moment I might have been a little more frustrated, but the more you know the Lord, you know he's got a reason and a rhyme for everything and-and uh you just gotta trust it.”                                

Question:  “You go from practice squad to special teams, a role as a receiver, starting receiver, then a Pro Bowler. When are you confident that the skillset simply needs an opportunity?”

Adam: “From day one, uh rookie camp.  Uh I think when I was able to just come out there and play football and beat guys that are first round draft picks and going against the starters every day in practice and feeling like, ‘Hey, I-I belong at this level and-and I'm competing and-and playing well against these guys, why can't I do it against other teams?’”

Question: “What's the greatest challenge in that delay?”

Adam: “It's something the Lord's kind of uh put on my plate is-is being patient and that was the hardest thing as a – as a rookie, as a practice squad guy, just to be patient.  Because I felt like I could play but uh looking back at it, I wasn't ready uh, and in the moment I thought I was, but I wasn't. And uh like I said, there was a plan for me and-and uh – and I kinda just uh was able to stick with it and good things happened.”   

Question: “Storybook journeys.  Are they earned or are they gifted?”

Adam: (SLIGHT LAUGH)  “Uh they are gifted! Recently my wife and I sat down just to think about, you know, why we're in the position we are.   And I think the Lord has put us in this position to really give back and to spread his word and to do things for this community and always be thinking about him.  So you gotta give back and remember why you're there.”                                

Question: “Do you struggle with perfectionism? Do you have to coming from how you have had to be self-sufficient?”

Adam:  “Yeah! I think it's kinda like a happy medium. It's striving for perfection uh but knowing that it's-it's not necessarily attainable, ‘cuz there's a lot of times in my career where I think I've-I've gotten to where I am because of wanting to be perfect and striving to be perfect, and, you know, sometimes I get down on myself because I'm not perfect, uh so it's kind of having that happy medium of not getting too down on yourself, but still holding yourself accountable uh for your mistakes or-or not performing at your highest. So, be on-on the right side of both of those.”     

Question: “How has a self-sufficient underdog acquired the need to follow a Savior?”

Adam: “That's a great question. That’s something I think about a lot! Because you can’t do it on your own! You know, when I was going through early college days uh I think I just, you know, I felt something missing. Ever since I gave my life to the Lord uh I've been able to fill that hole.  And it's an everyday battle, uh but- there's just a-a sense of peace and uh something that just makes you feel uh like you're kinda whole.”                 

Question: “Adam when we see uh the purple or white 19, from this point on, how can we pray for you?”

Adam:  “Pray to help me become a better man of Christ. I really, have taken ownership to try to be the best person whether somebody is looking or whether nobody's looking, whether I'm in front of 60,000 people or around my house, I want to make the exact same decision no matter what. That's really helped me just stay accountable and uh I've seen it, uh I've lived through it and I know what it can do to have-have the Lord on your side.”

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