Broncos fan becomes team member Former, Oakland Raiders tight end Nick Kasa (88) celebrates next to Denver Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard (52) after catching a 9-yard touchdown from quarterback Terrelle Pryor during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Kasa is joining the Broncos practice team for the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar/David Zalubowski, File)
Broncos fan becomes team member
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In many ways, Nick Kasa has been like any other fan of the Denver Broncos this season, but on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, he'll be one of the Denver Broncos.
 
Kasa is a tight end who has been out of football since the spring, and got a phone call while sitting in the stands watching the Broncos beat New England in the AFC title game Jan. 24.
 
He dropped his phone and cracked the screen - that's another story -- but when he finally restored his service, he learned the Broncos wanted to sign him to their practice squad to help them get ready for the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers.
 
"It's been pretty crazy, kind of indescribable," said Kasa. "These guys have been working hard toward this for a long time (and) for me to come in at the end here, is just kind of an out-of-the-ordinary event. I'm honored to be here and ready to do whatever I can to help."
 
That includes playing the part of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen in practice, so Kasa has been studying film of the Pro Bowl tight end and wants to give Denver's top-ranked defense an accurate portrayal.
 
"My role is to be the best Greg Olsen that I can," said Kasa, who went to high school in Broomfield, Colorado, and played at the University of Colorado. "I didn't see this coming, I thought the season was drawing to an end. I was ready to move on to the next year. They surprised me with this call. I'm ready to go."
 
Kasa was drafted in the sixth round by Oakland in 2013, and played in all 16 games his rookie season, but the only catch of his career came in the final week of that season, when he hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass against, fittingly enough, the Broncos.
 
He missed 2014 after being placed on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his knee, and last spring, the Raiders let him go and he's been looking for an NFL job ever since.
 
To stay in shape, Kasa worked out just a few blocks away from Denver's practice facility.
 
"Still pretty much the same start to my day," Kasa cracked.
 
Only now he's making around $6,600 per week on the practice squad and will be going with the team to Santa Clara, California, for the big game. He gets Super Bowl tickets, too, even if he doesn't suit up.
 
"It's a dream come true, for sure," the 25-year-old Kasa said. "I don't know how to describe it. It's just good to be here (and) I don't want to distract from this team at all. They've been working hard for a long time."
 
To think, he initially missed a call he's been waiting so long to receive. While attending the AFC championship game, the phone dropped out of his hand and the screen broke. As he was taking in Denver's 20-18 win over Tom Brady and the Patriots, the team was trying to get in touch with him.
 
It wasn't until the next day, when he picked up a new phone, that he saw the messages, and his heart sank.
 
"I was freaking out, for sure," Kasa said, "but got it all turned around in enough time and (I) made it over here. Now, I'm just on to however I can help."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What did Nick Kasa mean by this: "My role is to be the best Greg Olsen that I can."
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (11)
  • adamb-lam
    2/03/2016 - 09:46 a.m.

    I enjoy reading about football stories like this, and I think that it is nice to learn that a longtime fan is finally getting his chance to be apart of the team he has been wanting to be apart of for a while.

  • colline1-lam
    2/03/2016 - 09:46 a.m.

    First off, I think it is really cool that Nick, who has been a fan for all of his life, gets another chance in the NFL, and it's in the Super Bowl. When he says he has to be the best Greg Olson he can, he is saying that he will try to give the most accurate performance of Greg Olsen that he can.

  • camronj-hei
    2/03/2016 - 12:11 p.m.

    When Nick Kasa says, "My role is to be the best Greg Olsen that I can be" he means that he has to be as good or even better than Greg Olsen so his chances of becoming a professional NFL player would be increased.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    2/03/2016 - 01:04 p.m.

    That is such an awesome story because it proves that an ordinary person's far fetched dreams can true even in the most unexpected ways.

  • julient-lam
    2/03/2016 - 02:33 p.m.

    What Kasa is experiencing is what a sport fan for any team wants to happen. I think it is wonderful that he has been given this opportunity and I hope other people can have this happen to them.

  • bennettv-lam
    2/03/2016 - 02:37 p.m.

    I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan. If I woke up one morning and saw that they wanted me to be on the practice squad, I would be shocked. It is a dream that many people have and I feel great for him that he got his.

  • briannec-ste
    2/05/2016 - 08:40 p.m.

    He needs to be as good as Greg Olsen, if not better so that the Broncos can have him in the best form. I wish some random football team would call one of my family members.

  • reidt-bru
    2/09/2016 - 09:45 a.m.

    Nick means that he needs to portray and accurate description of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. He does this by watching game films and studying Olsen's tight end skills, tendencies, and characteristics. Nick wants to help his team in any way he can.

  • travisr-bru
    2/09/2016 - 09:46 a.m.

    There is a reason why Nick Kasa says," I want to be the best Greg Olsen I can." The reason he says this is because he wants to be as great or better than Greg Olsen so he has a better chance at becoming a permanent part of the Denver Bronco's Practice Squad. This is the reason why Nick says," I want to be the best Greg Olsen I can."

  • loganw5-smi
    2/16/2016 - 10:56 a.m.

    He was saying that he wanted to be like Greg Olsen for the Broncos so they could beat the Panthers.

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