Cody Fajardo doesn’t hide the fact that he’s an emotional quarterback and religious guy.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ star was visibly amped up before and after the team’s Week 1 win over B.C. and credits his wife for motivating him with a pregame text message.
“Usually, she sends me something that’s faith-based and she does a really good job of doing a lot of her research and I know she saves a lot of stuff. But a lot of it is faith-based and about our relationship,” Fajardo said.
So, what else does Mrs. Fajardo text to Mr. Fajardo on game days? A lot, according to Fajardo.
“How proud she is of me and who I am and to go out there and to do kind of what God’s plan is for me to use my platform and go play football,” Fajardo said.
“A lot of that text message got me emotional at first and then running out of the tunnel and hearing the fans got me super emotional, so it was tough. I was kind of on an emotional roller coaster, highs and lows.”
Riders’ offensive coordinator Jason Maas was an emotional quarterback himself and might see some of that in his new protege. Unlike other football coaches, Maas sees no reason to reel in his starting QB.
“To be honest with you, I think you’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror, if you’re the type of quarterback that can play well with that emotion, I think you play with it. If Cody was excited before the game, he certainly played pretty damn well during it and throughout the game — I thought Cody had a very good game,” said Maas.
Maas thinks Fajardo’s emotion is what makes him an effective leader.
“Noticing Cody in practice and watching him when we get to game-like situations in practice when things aren’t going well, he can turn it up and gets that fire in him a bit. And I think that’s a good thing. I think when you’re the type of guy that good things happen when you’re a bit amped up, you should go with it.”
That hasn’t always worked for Maas or a lot of other players, but the coach insists it’s better for the player to stay true to his identity.
“Ultimately, it’s about knowing yourself,” Maas said. “I think that’s one thing about Cody that I’ve noticed, he’s very much in control of himself.”