A Blind USC Football Player Had the Best ‘Bird Box’ Challenge Yet
Earlier this week, we told you about the Bird Box Challenge, based on Netflix’s popular new film starring Sandra Bullock, in which a woman must embark on a dangerous journey totally blindfolded to protect herself from monsters that can apparently kill anyone who looks at them. The Bird Box Challenge, which emerged organically on social media, is where people attempt to perform tasks blindfolded, the way Bullock’s character would have in the movie.
Some of the challenges have been benign, but a few got hazardous enough for Netflix to send out a tweet pleading with people to please, for the love of bird boxes, be careful and not do anything blindfolded that could wind up hurting themselves. It’s good they did that; I was just about to take the Bird Box Challenge when I drove over to pick up my kids from daycare.
The best Bird Box video I’ve seen so far came from Jake Olson, a long snapper for the USC Trojans who holds a unique qualification for this sort of challenge: He’s blind. Olson suffered from a rare form of retina cancer. He lost his left eye as a baby, and his right eye when was 12. Before he did, he got to run on the field with his beloved Trojans, and even gave pep talks to the team. USC News picks up his amazing story there:
Later, as a junior at Orange Lutheran High School in Orange County, Olson had had enough of being on the sidelines. He taught himself to excel at the only position he could play without sight — long snapper. A teammate would guide Olson onto the field and square his hips, and the kicker clapped to let Olson know how far back to snap the ball. Olson earned a starting spot on the varsity squad.
Olson joined the USC Trojans in 2015, and in 2017 he played his first snap in an official game. (He threw a perfect strike to the holder and the kicker put it through the uprights for an extra point.) Here is his Bird Box Challenge. As he notes, it’s kind of a piece of cake for him.
Bird Box is available to stream on Netflix.
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