The past two seasons, Raiders safety Reggie Nelson has been named to the NFL Pro Bowl. Apparently, the 33-year-old is another kind of Pro Bowler. As in the kind with the heavy round ball on lanes with pins.
Wednesday night the Raiders took their last opportunity of the offseason to do a team building exercise by having the entire team along coaches and staff go bowling together.
That’s where Nelson bowled over everyone with his ability to spin it.
“Reggie Nelson was clearly our top bowler,” said head coach Jack Del Rio. “Then another DB, I’m not even going to give up his name because he tried hard. (laughing) We had one that really struggled. Reggie was really good. I think he bowled like a 250. Pretty solid for an amateur.”
For those unfamiliar, 300 is a perfect game in bowling. So, yeah, a 250 is quite good.
According to sources familiar with Nelson’s game, he has near perfect form, spinning the ball just like the professionals. Though for players like Khalil Mack, who said of his own that he’s “terrible. I suck,” Nelson’s bowling game is a mystery.
“Man, I have no clue because he just rolls the ball man,” Mack said with a laugh. He came up with like a 245 yesterday. It was all strikes and pickups.”
As for who that DB was who struggled, Karl Joseph copped to it, saying only that his score was under 100. To make matters worse, he made the mistake of putting a wager on it with Nelson.
“It was me,” said Joseph. “I did terrible. (laughter) But I bet Reggie. I didn’t know he was that good, so when we got there and I saw his first number, I said, ‘No, we didn’t shake on it. That bet didn’t count.’ I didn’t know he was that good. I didn’t do too well yesterday.”
These guys are all competitors, no matter what they’re doing. So, for them, bragging rights are real. For the team, the end game is far more important.
“What I’m seeking to do there is twofold really,” said Del Rio. “One is we want to compete in everything we do, so I like any type of competition that we can create. We like to do that. Then two, just to get away from this environment. Have guys interact. You build that camaraderie. You have that time together aside from in here grinding in meetings and on the football field. I think that’s an important aspect.”
It was a fun time had by all everyone. And perhaps when Nelson retires in the next year or few, there will be another professional sports career in his future.