Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No … it’s a squirrel. Just as the Parramatta fullback began to rack up the frequent flyer points, the Hayne plane is on the verge of being grounded.
Jarryd Hayne is contemplating replacing his famous post-try celebration with the ”squirrel” dance synonymous with his NFL hero, Ray Lewis.
”The boys said after the game that I’m running too far away and they’re getting too tired chasing me,” Hayne said.
”I think I’m going to have to come up with something different.”
Hayne has been watching YouTube videos of the recently retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker that has had over a million hits since he last performed it in the Ravens’ Super Bowl triumph against the San Francisco 49ers.
But it’s not just Lewis’ dance moves that Hayne has been analysing in a bid to make his own.
The newly appointed co-captain, who admitted he still had a lot to learn when it came to firing up his troops, is using Lewis’ inspirational speeches to improve that aspect of his game.
”I’ve been watching a lot of Ray Lewis,” Hayne said. ”I really enjoy the American speakers, they are so passionate and emotional. When they speak you want to play for them. It’s something that I thought from day one, when I lead the team I want them to play for all of us. I think that sort of team spirit they’ve got and the way they mould a team … in the NFL there’s always that one person who pumps the team up and gets them in that zone.
”If you’ve watched any of Ray Lewis, just watching him you get goosebumps. I’ve showed it to a lot of friends and every time I message something like that they write back saying ‘goosebumps’. It’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to emulate but it’s something I enjoy. It gets the team off to a good start.”
The Eels couldn’t have asked for a better start to their campaign under Ricky Stuart than the impressive 40-10 thumping of the Warriors at Parramatta Stadium last Saturday night. While some players sense when their side is poised for a big game, Hayne said he felt the opposite way leading into the opening-round clash.
”I was actually feeling awful,” he said. ”I said to Benny Smith, ‘How are you feeling?’ and he just said, ‘Mate, I’m so nervous’. Being a senior player you can muck around with the boys and tell them how you feel. Benny was nervous as and he looked at me and said, ‘How do you feel?’ and I said, ‘I feel crap’.
”It was hot, it was the first game, there’d been a big build-up.”
The Eels take on a depleted Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night, but despite missing several key players, Hayne is expecting a tough contest.
”They’re very disciplined and to have a coach like Dessie Hasler is evident of that,” Hayne said. ”I’ve been speaking to a few of their boys a fair bit and finding out what he’s like, what’s training like.
”Tony [Williams] and Kris [Keating] and a couple of boys under his guard definitely say how hard it is and how intense it is. You know you are in for a hard task when you’ve got them, no matter who they’ve got.”
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.