Australia, we want to tell you a really funny story about the most impressive young man you'll read about this weekend.
His name's Solomon Thomas and he hates seagulls because they bullied him, stole his fish and chips and made him cry when he was a kid. But hey, which young Aussie kid hasn't been scarred by a similar experience?
Anyway that's not the funny story. The funny story is this:
Actually before we tell you the story, we should mention that Solomon Thomas, who is now 21 and no longer scared of seagulls (though his sister is), has just been drafted at number three in the NFL draft.
That's right. This articulate young fellow, fresh out of graduating from Stanford University, will now play football with the San Francisco 49ers. Which is very impressive.
Thomas was back in Australia this week to promote the College Football Sydney Cup in Sydney on August 27. He told HuffPost Australia that he lived here while he was really little, and that he first learned to speak as a tiny tot when he was in Australia.
So, naturally, he started his verbal life with an Aussie accent. This did NOT go down well with school teachers when he went back to live in the States with his parents after a few years.
"I had such a thick Australian accent that the teachers said they couldn't understand me," he told The HuffPost Australia. "So they put me in speech classes for three years till it went away."
Till it went away??? Like some sort of disease or something?
(Thomas says "yes, sir" a lot. It's very polite and makes you feel really good.)
Wait, you really had extra classes so you could stop talking like an Aussie?
"I did. I had to do an extra class every day."
So there you have it.
The Thomas family settled in the town of Coppell, Texas, on the outskirts of Dallas. Ever watched the movie and/or TV series Friday Night Lights? Well, Coppell was real FNL territory. The high school football team was everything. Thomas, naturally, was on that team.
We asked him if his life was just like the teenaged characters in the show, who struggle to cope with life, family issues, school and the pressure of a whole town sweating on their every football move.
"I guess you could say that Friday Night Lights does a good job of portraying how it really is. It's like a religion. For me, luckily I was really good at compartmentalising everything."
Thomas gave a great quote in a story we read about him on a U.S. website which featured a very helpful video about the seagull-chip incident. He said:
"I feel like I can do so much in this world. I want to be the best person I can be. Best teammate. Best player."
We asked Solomon if he'd care to expand on what it means to be the best person he can be.
"Always leave a positive impact. Be the best friend, the best brother, the best boyfriend, the best new person you just met you can be, and make the world a better place."
We liked that. And we wish Solomon Thomas all the best with his NFL career.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA