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But his story is more about never giving up on your dreams. 

By Dan Gartland
May 29, 2019

A long, strange trip

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi is the most unlikely rookie in the NFL.

The 24-year-old receiver and return specialist has taken the longest road possible to become a member of the Browns. A profile on the team’s website describes how Sheehy-Guiseppi spent the past three years traveling across the country to try to catch on with any pro football team after a JuCo All-America season at Arizona College in 2016 failed to result in any scholarship offers.

He went to a bunch of Division I colleges, CFL tryouts, arena league tryouts and even a flag football workout, just trying to continue his football career. Somebody he met through the flag football league told him about an NFL tryout in Miami this spring, and Sheehy-Guiseppi begged him for the address. He didn’t care that the tryout was invite-only; he’d finesse his way onto the field. The connection told Sheehy-Guiseppi to act like he knew Browns exec Alonzo Highsmith. 

Here’s how he recounted the story to Cleveland.com’s Scott Patsko:

“Who are you?”

“I’m Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi. I’m here for the tryout.”

“Do you know Alonzo?”

“Yeah, I know Alonzo.”

The confidence paid off. Sheehy-Guiseppi had his foot in the door. To make sure his story didn’t fall apart, as soon as he saw Highsmith, he ran to him and introduced himself.

“I just knew I had to make it look like we were friends,” Sheehy-Guiseppi said. “Alonzo was real nice to me.”

Sheehy-Guiseppi’s workout was impressive enough (running a 4.38 40-yard dash) that Highsmith invited him to a tryout at the Cleveland facility the following week. The problem was the he had spent the last of his mother’s rewards points on a one-way ticket to Miami, so he had to find a way to make it in Miami for a week with virtually no money. He used guest passes to sleep at a 24-hour gym. He slept outside. He ate food from strangers’ streetside cookouts or asked friends back home to remotely order him something to eat. When he finally arrived in Cleveland, he impressed Browns scouts enough to earn a spot on the 90-man roster. 

As an undersized special-teamer who hasn’t played competitive football since 2016 and never above the junior college level, Sheehy-Guiseppi is the longest of long shots to actually stick with the Browns. If he does, it will be one of the greatest stories in NFL history. But even if he doesn’t, he’s taught people a valuable lesson about not giving up on a dream. 

Rob Pelinka told the stupidest lie

Included in ESPN’s big Lakers story is a frankly incredible detail about GM Rob Pelinka telling a story to his team (with Dwayne Johnson present, for some reason) about setting up a meeting between Kobe Bryant and Heath Ledger. Pelinka was clearly lying, though, because Ledger would have been dead during the supposed meeting.

Who wants free stuff? 

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who entered. 

One of the most popular giveaways I’ve ever done was for Kettle Brand potato chips, so we’re doing it again. With the NBA Finals starting this week, three winners will have a whole box full of free chips to snack on while they watch the games. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Here’s how to enter to win: Send me an email with a the subject line Kettle giveaway (you must use this subject line) and in the body include the name of the White Sox player who dumped a cooler of water on himself (the answer is in Tuesday’s Hot Clicks). I’ll send a case of chips to the 50th, 100th and 200th person to email me following those instructions.

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Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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