If you spend much time reading about sports online, you’ve no doubt encountered The Players’ Tribune, a website that features articles written by athletes. That unique hook, paired with a smart social media strategy, means that the site’s content tends to be unavoidable.
That’s never more true that when the site produces its signature piece: the “Letter To My Younger Self”, in which an athlete sits down to pen some words of wisdom to themselves from days gone by. It’s a fascinating feature that gives us valuable insight into the lives of professional athletes, such as the fact that they all write in exactly the same voice. Even Brendan Shanahan did one.
Apparently, he’s not alone. Top secret sources inform me that Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews has been asked to contribute a letter of his own for an upcoming edition. And as luck would have it, DGB spies were able to get their hands on the first draft…
Dear younger Auston,
Man, it seems like it was only a year ago that you were just a wide-eyed kid, sitting around dreaming about going first overall in the entry draft and wondering where your NHL journey would begin.
That’s because it was only a year ago. Look, don’t be a wiseass. This is why nobody likes teenagers.
Anyway, the point is that I’m your older and wiser self, and I’m here to give you some good news. It all works out pretty well.
It turns out you do go first overall at the draft, just like you’d always hoped. And that means you end up playing for the team that wins the lottery: The Toronto Maple Leafs. I know that comes as a surprise because you assumed that the whole thing was rigged so that only the Edmonton Oilers ever won, since that’s what Connor McDavid told you that one time you met him and he shook your hand while blinking “help me” in morse code.
But nope… you’re going to be a Maple Leaf.
That means you get to move to Toronto, which is a cool place. As best you can tell, the city’s baseball, basketball and soccer teams have always been really good, so there’s a lot of pressure on you to help the Maple Leafs get there too. But the whole town is really behind you. Everyone offers advice, from the cab drivers to the waiters to the hot dog vendors. Well, one hot dog vendor in particular. He keeps trying to hand you a note that he says is from “a friend” and which just has the word “RUN!” finger-painted in mustard. Still, I think that counts as being helpful.