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Brock Lesnar is a sporting journeyman. From his decade long stint with the WWE, where he is an eight-time world champion, to his 11 month UFC heavyweight title reign after beating Randy "The Natural" Couture at UFC 91.
The 44-year-old has accomplished a hell of a lot in a relatively short amount of time, but his ultimate dream was to become a professional NFL player - and he came so close to achieving that dream in 2004.
Following the last match of his first run in WWE at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar joined the Minnesota Vikings in time for their pre-season preparations.
Lesnar, who was selected for the club's practice squad after impressing in the NFL draft combine, was eager to prove people wrong ahead of his debut.
In honor of Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Universal Championship, flashback to his days as an NFL hopeful with the Vikings pic.twitter.com/OqkBs0vEGT— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) July 15, 2019
"This is no load of bull; it's no WWE stunt. I am dead serious about this," he said via Bloody Elbow. "I ain't afraid of anything, and I ain't afraid of anybody. I've been an underdog in athletics since I was 5. I got zero college offers for wrestling. Now people say I can't play football, that it's a joke. I say I can."
"I'm as good an athlete as a lot of guys in the NFL, if not better. I've always had to fight for everything. I wasn't the best technician in amateur wrestling. But I was strong, had great conditioning, and a hard head. Nobody could break me.
"As long as I have that, I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks."
Despite having just high school experience on his CV, the NFL side clearly noticed some potential.
He recorded a reported 4.7-second 40-yard-dash time, 35-inch vertical leap, and 30 reps on the 225-pound bench press during the combine, an impressive set of results for a rookie.
But a nasty motorcycle accident left him with a broken jaw, a bruised pelvis, and a pulled groin, which meant he was not at 100% during his tryouts.
Lesnar still featured in a number of pre-season outings, though, including this clip against the San Francisco 49ers, where he played defensive tackle at #69.
The South Dakota-born athlete would train with Minnesota for two months but was eventually omitted from the final roster.
He was invited by the Vikings to represent them in NFL Europa but he decided against the move, instead opting to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts.
Lesnar was clearly determined to prove himself in pro football but natural athleticism didn't match up with his overall skill set.
It was fun while it lasted, though.
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