By: Will Burchfield
“A bet’s a bet,” said Golden Tate, wearing a green No. 94 Miami jersey with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s last name stitched across the back.
“If I’m gonna lose a bet,” he added, “I’m gonna lose it the correct way.”
Tate was also repping a white Gatorade hat with orange and green accents and a pair of green sneakers as he spoke to reporters in the Lions locker room on Wednesday. Both came courtesy of Jordan, with whom Tate has an endorsement deal.
The Lions wide receiver and Notre Dame grad went all out in owning up to his friendly wager with Johnson, a Miami alumnus, over the two school’s much-hyped clash earlier this month.
The rules were simple:
After Notre Dame lost in embarrassing fashion, Tate found and ordered a custom Johnson Miami jersey on eBay.
And he admitted he actually likes the way it looks.
“I am a fan of the colors, I’m not going to lie. I grew up liking this combination of colors,” he said.
In fact, he grew up liking the Hurricanes.
“I don’t know if you guys know, but I was a huge Miami fan growing up. I used to want to go there, used to always hope I got a scholarship there.”
“As a kid I loved the state of Florida. I wanted to go to school in Florida. I loved the Dolphins, I loved Tampa Bay, loved the University of Miami, Florida State, the Gators. I just loved Florida teams,” said Tate.
He drew interest from Miami in high school and even visited the campus and met with the coaches.
“We definitely talked. I can’t remember if they offered me because it was pretty early in the process when I committed to Notre Dame,” he said.
As to what he plans to do with his new jersey, Tate said, “I think all I have to do is post a picture and tag him and let him know I fulfilled my bet. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet. Hopefully he’ll sign it.”
Tate has long been a big fan of Johnson, dating back to his days in the WWE. He paid homage to The Rock’s ‘people’s elbow’ after a touchdown last month.
The two have never met in person, but Tate said they’ve exchanged some messages on Twitter. He hopes to connect this summer.
“He’s filming his movie so he’s been pretty busy. I think this offseason might be a time to maybe meet up,” said Tate. “If he wants.”