“I’m not going to let this stupid knee screw up the rest of my life. Not again,” Kevin says. Turns out, Kevin was a star football player in high school (his love of throwing the pigskin began early, at 3 years old), impressively making the varsity team as a sophomore. His future was looking bright: College scouts and recruiters were coming just to see him and Jack, the proud father he was, filmed every big moment of his son’s young football career.
“I had this whole future planned… And then, the knee goes out and then bam, just like that, it’s over in one second. Gone,” Kevin reflects, suggesting that he suffered the original injury, which had plagued the rest of his life, during a football game. “So what do you do? I started acting. At first I started doing it to pass the time, rather than just sit there and feel sorry for myself. But then, after awhile, I started to get the same thrill from it that I did from football.”
“And here we are, 20 years later,” he continues on, taking offense to the thought of his acting dream getting derailed because of his injury. “I’ve been working my a** off and I’m finally on the brink of something special and real and fulfilling, and I’ll be damned if I let this stupid knee destroy another one of my dreams. … I’m not blowing it this time. I’m going to do whatever it takes.” Sure enough, Kevin soldiers on -- possibly to the detriment of his long-term health and career -- and somehow "recuperates" in time to keep production on the Ron Howard movie on track. Will he pay for it in the end?
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This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.