LEONARDVILLE, Kan. -- Jordy Nelson is not the prankster type. In fact, the life story of one draft weekend's fastest rising talents makes the Hardy Boys look like meth dealers.
|Against Texas last season, Jordy Nelson returns a punt 89 yards for a TD. (Getty Images)|
Two strangers were munching burgers at Nelson's Landing, Leonardville's best -– OK, only sports bar -- the other day.
"One guy took a bite and said, 'Whoa, that's real meat,'" said Jordy's mom, Kim, said behind the bar of the family's "other" business on Wednesday.
The Nelsons snicker at this. No frozen patties for them. Fresh Angus is all they, and the rest of this small town 20 miles northwest of Kansas State, know. That, and the fact that Nelson's Landing has become the official hangout for those wanting a glimpse of this region's rural superstar.
Little kids and fawning adults walk into the establishment and ask regularly, "Is Jordy working today?"
They want his autograph and to hang with one of Riley County's greats. Kim Nelson remembers a 4-year-old with his grandparents wearing Jordy's No. 27 jersey. They came from the birthday party where guests were required to wear Kansas State purple. The cake was adorned with a picture of Jordy.
No, she said, Jordy was not in, except that a few minutes later – surprise! -- he was shaking hands and posing for pictures. Another satisfied Leonardvillian.
"It's more weird when we're out in public and go watch a high school game somewhere," said Jordy, whose wife teaches kindergarten at Riley County Elementary. "They still recognize me, which blows my mind. What makes you think I'd be here in the first place ... for you to pick me out of a crowd?"
Mr. Gee Whiz's world is about to get a lot more complicated, but not before a devilish smile crosses his face. Nelson has this idea to punk his new boss when the draft rolls around this weekend.
"He wanted to be working cattle on Saturday," dad Alan said, "so when they called, ... the GM would say, 'What is that noise in the background?'"
The answer, of course, will be that 200 head of cattle can make a heck of a racket. Jordy was out in the field helping his father inoculate them on Wednesday, one of the last days as down-home country kid before taking his act to the NFL.
"The stuff we did today was fun, with the cattle," he said. "You get to do something different every day. You're not going into an office sitting in the same cubicle."