It was the NFL draft equivalent of calling his own shot.
On April 26, having just got off the phone with ex-teammate Eddie Lacy, Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix threw on a Nike Packers T-shirt. Without giving it too much thought, he took a photo and posted it to his Instagram account.
Two weeks later, life imitated art.
The Packers took Clinton-Dix with the No. 21 overall selection in Thursday night’s first round of the draft. Thanks to an odd twist of events — and perhaps a bit of fate — he’s reunited with Lacy, his old Crimson Tide pal who’s now the team’s workhorse running back.
“I had been talking to Eddie for a minute, and I was looking through my bag and said, ‘Oh, I’ll put this on.’ And it looked pretty good on me,” Clinton-Dix said, via ESPNWisconsin.com. “So, I decided to take a picture on Instagram and I put it up and it kind of blew up.”
Ha Ha crafted his own self-fulfilling prophecy, one he never saw coming. It was only until the Instagram picture went viral, with rabid Packers fans blowing up it on social media, that he began considering Green Bay as a potential landing spot.
“To be honest, I didn’t [pay attention],” he said. “Like I was telling you, it’s a gamble. So those opinions on who needs safeties or where I was going in the draft, I didn’t look at it at all. But when I posted that picture on Instagram and I got 300, 400 comments and quotes from Twitter about the picture, I kind of went back and looked at Green Bay. And [thought], ‘You know, they could use some help [at safety and] on the defensive side of the ball, period, with the great offense they already have.
“So I looked there, and I was like, ‘Well, everybody might be right. I might end up in Green Bay. Seriously.’ Everything happens for a reason. I put that picture up with that Green Bay shirt two, three weeks before the draft, and here I am a Packer.”
In the days leading up to the draft, Clinton-Dix’s heart was elsewhere — in Philadelphia, where he was basically begging to end up.
His pleas would fall on deaf ears.
The Eagles traded down — not up — from the No. 22 pick. Clinton-Dix was on the board for the Packers, in desperate need of a safety with his skillset.
The rest is … well, history.
(Photo credit: Reuters)