On September 13, 2022, Joe Pepe and Nate Polvogt hosted their weekly Twitter Space, 'Dropping Dimes,' but this time, there was a unique twist to the show. Former Green Bay Packers 2006 4th round draft pick and legendary TCU wide receiver/kick return/punt return specialist Cory Rodgers joined the show to shed some light on his playing days and engage with the common sports fan. This was an unparalleled experience for listeners because many of them, including Co-Host Nate Polvogt, had never had the experience of talking and engaging with a former NFL football player before. The level of intimacy between Cory and the crowd was the equivalent to that of your favorite band coming to your hometown and playing music for you in the dive bar you grew up eating in. It was truly a beautiful experience and something I know everybody in the audience is craving more of. In listening to Cory tell his story, there were several topics discussed during the hour we had with him that I thought deserved to be highlighted.
Cory's work ethic was second to none.
"You're too small."
"You won't make it... you aren't fast enough."
"You aren't strong enough."
These are statements that he heard all his life, but it's no mistake that he made it as far as he did. Maybe they were right. Maybe he wasn't the biggest, or the fastest, or the strongest... but nobody was working harder. The thought of somebody outworking Cory would keep him up at night, so it simply didn't. Nobody was, because nobody could. If his eyes were open, he was working to improve. The perfectionist in Cory would not allow him to end practice unless he caught 150 balls in a row on the jugs machine without a single drop. He was an underdog from day zero, a title Cory still embraces today. It was the "You vs. You" mentality that pushed him over the hump to achieve what so many athletes never could; an opportunity to play D1 football and inevitably a trip to the NFL.
Cory committed to play wide receiver at Texas Christian University for the 2003 season where he would play until 2005. What was a legendary college career would be taken for granted to a degree, Cory admitted. He talked about how it was hard to appreciate it all when he was in the moment, but upon reflection as he looks back on his career now, he understands the magnitude of his accomplishments. Cory Rodgers would finish his college career with 150 receptions, 2,111 receiving yards, and 17 touchdown receptions. Those stats were good enough to rank him 6th best all time in TCU history for receptions, 10th all time in yards, and tied for 5th all time in touchdowns. He added 10 rushing touchdowns over his three-year career at TCU as well, bringing his touchdown total to 27, which is 8th best all time in program history. While his impact on offense was large, it was hardly his greatest feat. Cory would go down as the greatest kick return specialist in TCU history, totaling 1,747 yards returning kicks and another 825 punt return yards.
Cory entered the 2006 NFL Draft, a day that he will remember forever. The phone call he so badly desired on day one, came early on day two. Cory Rodgers would be a Green Bay Packer, selected in the 4th round as the 104th overall pick, but it wouldn't happen without a little bit of drama. Cory told the 'Dropping Dimes' audience and crew a story behind this magical day. On day one of the draft, Cory received a phone call from the Chicago Bears who held the 57th overall pick. They told Cory that they planned to select him with their pick so long as Devin Hester was not available. Hester was still on the board at 57, so Cory would have to wait just a little while longer. When he received the phone call from the Packers on day 2, he was ready to work, ready to be a Packer.
I asked Cory who the toughest defensive back he ever had to deal with was. His response required no hesitation, in fact, he even made us all aware of how easy of an answer it was. Of course the answer was his own teammates, Charles Woodson and Al Harris as he warned "Don't let them guys get their hands on you." His time in Green Bay was short, but it was a momentous experience. Cory suited up with the likes of Brett Favre, Donald Driver, Ahman Green, and so many others, so one of his only regrets makes sense. He admitted on the show that he wished he would have spent more time getting to know Brett Favre and talking to him more.
Cory Rodgers would play in the Canadian Football Leage for the next three years, from 2007-2009, spending his first two seasons with the BC Lions and his final season with the Toronto Argonauts. He loved the experience, raving about how much he loved living in Canada and furthermore, his love for the people. He said Vancouver, Canada is the only place he has ever been where there were mountains covered in snow that you could ski on and end up on a sandy beach by the time you hit the bottom of the slope. Vancouver sounded like the perfect vacation spot for 'Dropping Dimes' host Joe Pepe. He exclaimed that he needed to take a trip there and Cory agreed that he should. Cory told us that he would take a vacation with us since he wanted to go back himself, so selfishly, this sentence here is dedicated to me holding you to your offer Corey! When asked to compare the NFL to the CFL, Cory's answer was short and sweet. "The NFL is a business," he said. The statement was left open to interpretation.
In conclusion, if there was one word to describe the show, I would describe it as memorable. Cory proved to be a good person, a friendly and humble person, and somebody that I enjoyed listening to tell his story. I talked to 'Dropping Dimes' Co-Host Nate Polvogt after the show, and he recounted his interaction with him in the same light. He talked about how engaging he was, and Nate appreciated how great of a storyteller he was as well. I also reached out to Cory after the show. He described his experience on 'Dropping Dimes' as a fun one. He said, "I would definitely do this space again. It's nice to bring the audience to your world. I love sharing my underdog story to the world."
Of course, this space would not have happened without Spoon of Zeke and our great friends at WagerWire. We are all so lucky to be partnered up with such an amazing company allowing for opportunities like this to happen. Not only is it great for the listeners and fans, but it's been a wonderful experience for the content creators as well. We are all so grateful for WagerWire, Spoon Of Zeke, and the man himself Cory Rodgers. Thank You!
You can listen to 'Dropping Dimes' supported by WagerWire every Wednesday on Twitter Spaces at 9pm EST.
Thumbnail Photo credit: link -> https://twitter.com/Finewine53 photo edited by Out of Pocket Sports