Last Sunday, on their opening drive of the game against Indianapolis, the Eagles methodically drove down the field in Carson Wentz's return to the lineup. The drive culminated with a 13-yard strike to Dallas Goedert, exciting the rain-soaked Lincoln Financial Field crowd into a frenzy. It was Goedert's first career NFL touchdown, something he'll surely always remember, and it was just the beginning of a very strong game for the rookie. He caught seven passes for 73 yards, and his ability as a blocker also was a huge plus for the Eagles.
Naturally, I felt compelled to talk to Goedert this week …
You see, Goedert may be an athletically gifted pass-catcher on the gridiron, but one of his first real accomplishments came not with two hands, but with one wheel. The story begins, as many do, with a holiday catalog. But as it turned out, Goedert's desire to ride on one wheel may have had more to do with genetics than anything else.
"One day I was just looking through the catalog for Christmas, and I circled it and told my mom I wanted to do it. But before I even knew that (I wanted one), it turned out my mom and a bunch of her sisters and my granddad actually rode unicycles like all the time in parades and stuff, so my grandpa had unicycles and I just went and grabbed one of those," the rookie said on Thursday.
"It took me a little bit once I got on it to try to get my balance and turn it, but it's not too hard to pick up."
From there, the young Goedert was hooked. He was determined to learn how to ride, thanks in part to a monetary reward.
"My grandpa offered 50 dollars to the first grandkid who learned how to ride it," Goedert said. "Me and my other cousin learned it at the exact same time. I was probably like 8 or 9 years old."
Cash in hand, Dallas and his cousins formed arguably the top unicycling brigade in all of the Dakotas. Wherever The Great Goederts (a nickname created by this author that may or may not actually exist) performed, people flocked to see the show.
"Just like small centennials and little towns, like 100-1,000 people towns," Goedert said modestly. "We would just ride in their Fourth of July parades and things like that. People loved seeing the unicycles, especially when you got on the six-foot one. That was the star of the show. I learned to ride that one right after the little one."
In fact, the town of Havana, North Dakota (where much of Goedert's family has their roots, about 30 miles north of Britton, South Dakota where Dallas grew up) recently celebrated 135 years of existence. Sporting his Eagles jersey, Dallas made the ride (Must Watch Video Included).
Some people believe in destiny. Some believe there are just coincidences. But when a young boy from Britain, South Dakota realizes that one of his biggest desires has run in his family for years, it really makes you think. Perhaps some things are just meant to be.
"Yeah, maybe a little bit," Goedert admitted. "My sisters were never really able to figure it out, but me and a couple of my cousins could, probably four or five of us."
After being drafted by the Eagles with the 49th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Goedert packed his bags and moved from South Dakota to Philadelphia. His unicycle did not make the trip, but before making the trek across the country, Dallas did get in one final ride in late July.
When will this member of The Great Goederts ride again? The answer is to be determined, but if the Eagles get to throw another parade like the one last February, well, here's to hoping that a certain tight end gets back up on the one wheel and rides triumphantly up Broad Street. I think we all wheelie hope that happens.
"Oh, I can still ride it," said Goedert. "I can probably bring one around here and show people some tricks."