Say what you might about professional wrestling, but the men and women who make it their jobs are extremely athletic and have to weather the rigors of a non-stop business. And given what pro wrestling demands, it’s not exactly surprising that many wrestlers have athletic backgrounds that span many athletic disciplines. It’s also not surprising when the children of pro wrestlers turn out to be athletically gifted themselves.
NFL teams held their rookie minicamps over the weekend and the Kansas City Chiefs hosted, among the many trying out for a spot on at least the summertime roster of 90 men, Kentucky Wildcats tight end Steve Borden Jr. That name might not ring familiar but Borden is the son of Steve Borden Sr., otherwise known as WCW, TNA and WWE legend Sting.
Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star spoke with Borden at the Chiefs rookie camp on Sunday about his attempt at making football his career rather than following in his father’s footsteps. He said he’s not daunted by his father’s legacy in regard to the career path he’s currently on, saying, “People usually ask me does that bother you, does that upset you? It’s never bothered me. It’s actually been one of those things that has pushed me my entire life. You see what your dad has done, you want to beat him out.”
Borden totaled four catches for 33 yards in 2014 for the Wildcats and three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown in 2013. He’s a raw prospect, with his Kentucky tight ends coach Vince Marrow saying of Borden last August that, “You gotta learn the passing game; you’ve gotta learn the running game, you’ve gotta learn the protection. So there’s a lot of things you’ve gotta learn. A lot of people don’t realize how important tight end is to the offense,” though he did note that Borden’s hands have gotten better from his junior to senior years.
The tight end says that his father did not push him to follow in his wrestling footsteps but rather accepted whatever path he chose to take:
“He’s always kind of pushed me to do what I want to do, make a name for myself outside of what he’s done. So that’s been the goal my entire life, not really to follow in his footsteps necessarily, but to make my own name … he never really was one of those dads who kind of wanted to push their son into their own deal.”
Though a long shot to make the Chiefs’ or any team’s roster as an undrafted rookie, Borden at least knows about hard work, sacrifice and the ups and downs of a career in professional sports from his father’s multi-decade career. But he also wants to lay low and focus on being a football player and not the son of a professional wrestler.
If football doesn’t work out, Borden is in no rush to follow his father’s career path. When asked if pro wrestling could too be in his future, Borden said, “I always tell people, if one day I’m homeless on the streets, then I might try it.”