Former Quarterback Nick Foles Excels in the World of Pickleball

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By Jacob Jackson

Nick Foles is a legend in the NFL. He led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in 2018, earning the MVP award along the way. He also holds several NFL records, including the most touchdown passes in a single game (seven) and the highest completion percentage in a single season (72.3%).

But in 2023, Foles did not have a team to play for. He was released by the Chicago Bears after the 2022 season, and no other team offered him a contract. Foles was faced with a tough decision: retire from football or keep looking for a chance to play.

He chose the latter, but he also decided to try something new: pickleball.

Nick Foles
Pickleball Union

What is Pickleball and Why Did Foles Choose It?

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court with a net, using paddles and a plastic ball with holes. The game can be played by two or four players, and the rules are simple and easy to learn.

Foles was introduced to pickleball by his wife, Tori, who played it in college. He was skeptical at first, but he soon realized that pickleball was more than just a casual game. It was a competitive, challenging, and fun sport that required skill, strategy, and athleticism.

Foles also found that pickleball was a great way to stay in shape and keep his football skills sharp. He said that pickleball helped him improve his footwork, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time. He also said that pickleball taught him how to deal with pressure, adversity, and failure.

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Foles was hooked. He started playing pickleball every day, sometimes for hours. He bought his own equipment, watched videos online, and joined a local club. He also invited some of his friends and former teammates to play with him, including Golden Tate, a Pro Bowl wide receiver who also competed in San Clemente.

How Did Foles Do in His First Pickleball Tournament?

Foles did not just play pickleball for fun. He also wanted to test his skills against other players. He entered his first pickleball tournament in September 2023, the PPA Finals in San Clemente, California. The PPA (Professional Pickleball Association) is one of the leading organizations in the sport, hosting events across the country and attracting some of the best players in the world.

Foles did not enter the highest level of competition, which is reserved for the elite players. He entered the 3.0 division, which is for intermediate players who have some experience and knowledge of the game. He played in two categories: mixed doubles and men’s doubles.

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In mixed doubles, Foles partnered with his wife, Tori, who is also a former athlete. She played soccer at Arizona, where she met Foles. The couple showed great chemistry and teamwork on the court, beating their opponents with ease. They won the gold medal in their division, earning a trophy and a cash prize.

In men’s doubles, Foles teamed up with his friend, Jim Davenport, who is also a former football player. He played quarterback at Arizona State, where he was a rival of Foles. The two became friends after their college careers, and they decided to try pickleball together. They proved to be a formidable duo, using their height, power, and speed to dominate their opponents. They also won the gold medal in their division, adding another trophy and cash prize to their collection.

Foles was ecstatic. He said that winning the pickleball tournament was one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences of his life. He said that he felt like he had found a new passion and a new purpose. He also said that he was proud of his wife and his friend, and that he enjoyed playing with them.

What’s Next for Foles and Pickleball?

Foles said that he plans to continue playing pickleball, and that he hopes to enter more tournaments in the future. He said that he wants to improve his game and challenge himself against higher-level players. He also said that he wants to promote the sport and inspire more people to try it.

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But Foles also said that he has not given up on football. He said that he still loves the game and that he still believes he can play at a high level. He said that he is keeping himself ready and waiting for an opportunity to return to the NFL.

Nick Foles Pickleball

Foles is not the only NFL player who has shown interest in pickleball. Several other stars, such as Tom Brady, Kevin Durant, Venus Williams, and Patrick Mahomes, have invested in Major League Pickleball, a new professional league that will launch in 2024. The league will feature 16 teams, each owned by a celebrity or an athlete, and will showcase some of the best pickleball players in the world.

Maybe one of those teams will sign Nick Foles. Or maybe Foles will start his own team. Or maybe he will just keep playing pickleball for fun.

Whatever he does, Foles has proven that he is not just a one-hit wonder. He is a champion in two sports. And he is having the time of his life.

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