What’s happening, EVERYletes! Over the next couple of days, we are going to be doing interviews with two of my cousins and overall goons, Jack and Trent Brigham. Both of these awesome young dudes have been instrumental in developing the sports culture that is our active and hyper competitive family. Today, here’s the interview that I got to do with Jack.
Mr. Brigham is currently enrolled at James Madison University in Virginia, and if there’s a sport you’re thinking of, he’s probably played and excelled at it. Without further ado, here we go! Enjoy!
R: So tell me Jack; why make Buffalo’s biggest cookie?
J: So the children of the neighborhood will be happy!
R: Phew! We were gonna have a problem if you didn’t answer that right. Anyway, we’re excited to know a little bit about what makes up Jack Brigham. If you could sum up your life up to this point in a few sentences, what would you say?
J: I’m blessed to be able to say my life has consisted of a lot of time and energy spent on enjoying myself and the people around me. That, along with extended periods of time training for a plethora of different sports.
R: Touching on that last bit, you’ve played pretty much every team sport under the sun, even dabbled a little bit into track in high school. What kinds of things have influenced you to continue staying competitive no matter what game you’re playing?
J: If I’m honestly narrowing down what things most influence me, it’s got to be how much I enjoy the feeling of besting my competition and the achievements, accolades, and attention that come with succeeding. As long as I can remember, I have always had a strong interest in being better than the people around me in whatever I am doing. That feeling of satisfaction from establishing yourself as a winner has almost always helped me continue to stay competitive in whatever game is being played.
R: You’ve certainly been able to leverage that drive to earn a lot of success. Speaking of, you were a standout in football, baseball, and lacrosse at different points in your sports life. How were you able to excel in multiple sports at pretty high competition levels?
J: Excelling in these sports regardless of the level of competition either way was always a matter of putting in the extra work during free time. Whether it was baseball while I was younger or lacrosse as I got a bit older, I was constantly looking for ways to benefit my game. This means lots of time in the backyard working on my craft, working with trainers and hours of watching guys I idolized on TV.
R: So who were some of your biggest sports role models as a kid? You know, besides me of course.
J: You aren’t far off here. Seeing athletes that were close to me like you, KJ Brent [currently a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers], and even Jaret excel was something that led to me in looking up to you all. Now that I am done gassing you guys up, I had a wide range of athletes I looked up to as a kid but my top three had to of been Derek Jeter, LeBron James, and Sean Taylor.
R: Hahah appreciate the love, my man. But Jeter, LeBron, and Sean Taylor are and were prototypical athletes and icons. Good choices. But if you’ll let me venture back to our extended family, we do have a big sports culture. Did that perennial sense of competition have any impacts on how your own sports life (or life in general) was shaped?
J: Now that I’m thinking about it, our fam’s sports culture was probably the biggest impact on my sports career, which I feel drove my athleticism and work ethic to places it may have never reached otherwise. The competitive spirit I pulled from constantly going against you, Jaret or whoever in whatever it might have been is something I carry with me to this day.
R: You played a big part in our competitiveness too, even if you can’t win a Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl to save your life… Moving on… Ultimately you picked football as your primary sport, being a standout at Charlotte Catholic High School and member of the football program at James Madison University for your freshman year (Go Dukes!). What made you want to play on the gridiron at the next level?
J: I can confidently say that I have never underperformed in the annual Turkey Bowl, unfortunately I cannot say the same for my teammates, but there is no need to get into that right now. But yeah, I’ve always had a passion for football, but the burnout aspect I felt in baseball and lacrosse definitely pushed football to the center of my attention. Also, the comfort of knowing football was only one season opposed to being year-round, and just as enjoyable as the other sports I grew up playing, was most appealing to me.
R: Athleticism question here. You’ve been called both fast and quick in football, basketball, basically all sports. As an athlete, do you think it’s better to be fast or quick? And which would you say applies more so to your playing style?
J: It really comes down to the sport you are playing but I always found it more of an advantage to be quick, though being fast definitely is big. I always knew that I wasn’t going to be able to outrun every guy on the football field. But pairing quickness with a low center of gravity, I made it the strongpoint in my game to be difficult to get a sure hand on me when I had the ball.
R: Makes sense with all the guys you made miss tackles and embarrass themselves. Even with all your successes, though, you made the tough decision to hang up the cleats after your freshman year at JMU. After an 18-year life filled with sports, what was the adjustment from finishing up your time as a full-time collegiate football player?
J: The main adjustment for me was getting used to not having the structure that sports always provided. This was the first time in my life I wasn’t planning my day-to-day activities around the sport in season. After quitting, I had never experienced a day of college without practice, workouts or meetings, so the free time was almost overwhelming. The easiest part of the transition was no longer needing to wake up early everyday to work my body to new limits while balancing class and a social life. The hardest aspect was managing all the free time I had as I mentioned before. This may not seem like a difficult task, but I found myself often struggling to stay productive.
R: So what kinds of things did you specifically do when just starting out in this new, different style of life? How did you initially use that extra time, and how long did it take for you to figure it out and find your groove doing other things?
J: At first, there was definitely a lot of wasted time that could have been a lot more productive. I got really good at the video game “Fortnite” and found myself going out a lot when I probably should’ve been doing other things. But I’d say after roughly a full semester of living the student-only life, I kind of got the groove of things and learned to balance out my time better.
R: In that same vein, what do you do now to keep up your life as an active and competitive EVERYlete? Obviously I know that you are now a big contributor to our team in the annual Charlotte Catholic High School alumni basketball tournament [we’ll for sure make a run at the championship next year]. Besides that, how are sports and staying active a part of your life?
J: Besides missing a lot of shots in alumni basketball tournaments, my life as an EVERYlete consists predominantly of frequent trips to the JMU fitness center to lift weights. I value bettering myself and staying in shape. Maybe this next semester I will join some intramural leagues, but for now I must say I’m enjoying not having to train for any sports.
R: What’s your own definition of an EVERYlete?
J: For me, defining an EVERYlete would be along the lines of anyone with the drive and willingness to compete. It’s a broad definition but the spectrum of an EVERYlete is broad in itself which is what I find most attractive about it.
R: Love that answer. That’s about all we have for this one, so thanks for your time Jack! Before we go though, did you ever talk to your brother about a certain question on height between siblings?
I do not wish to comment on this subject.