WHATEVER IT TAKES
Inked|2021 Holiday Issue
BUFFALO BILLS GUARD JON FELICIANO HAS PROVEN THERE ISN’T AN OBSTACLE OUT THERE CAPABLE OF DETERRING HIM FROM HIS GOALS.
CHARLIE CONNELL

The life of an offensive lineman in the NFL is a rough one. Obviously, there is the physical toll of violently clashing with enormous and strong defenders for 60+ snaps per game. Beyond that is the mental toll that comes from performing such a thankless task. Specifically, casual fans never notice when you do your job well; a lineman only catches their attention when a defender runs straight over them to get to the quarterback. It’s easy to imagine the combination of physical pain and pressure getting to even a seasoned professional.

Jon Feliciano, the starting left guard for the Buffalo Bills, works his ass off in the gym all year round to ensure his body can handle the slog of a 17-game season. Preparing for the physicality is a straightforward process; finding a way to manage the mental hardship takes a little more nuance. Feliciano harkens back to a piece of advice given to him early in his life to get his mindset right before lining up against the best athletes in the world every Sunday.

“The way I grew up, one of my mom’s boyfriends taught me at a young age that you can’t give an F what anyone else thinks,” Feliciano says. “I couldn’t care about what others think, I was going to do what was right. And I took that into football. As long as I know I’m giving my all for my team and I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing, if something bad happens, it happens. That’s football. They get paid too.”

It was in 2001 when Feliciano attended his first football game—Washington vs. Miami at the Orange Bowl—and from that moment nothing would deter him from his dream to become a Miami Hurricane. This wasn’t just any game, mind you: Washington and Miami hate each other despite only facing off three times. The Huskies were making their first visit to the Orange Bowl since breaking the Hurricanes’ 58game home winning streak back in 1994, and it was time for revenge.

The 2001 Hurricanes were stacked and what Feliciano witnessed that day was nothing less than an epic ass kicking as they cruised to a 65-7 victory. The nine-year-old future NFL guard learned his destiny that day.

“That was my first-ever football experience,” he recalls. “The atmosphere of being there in the Orange Bowl, everything is rocking, and then [the Hurricanes] come running out of the smoke… Coming out of the smoke was literally one of the biggest things that drove me to work so hard. I just wanted to be a Miami Hurricane from that moment on.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM INKEDView All

FAZE THE F@#K UP!

FAZE CLAN HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT BREAKING THE RULES, NO MATTER WHAT THEY’RE DOING. IN THIS CONVERSATION LED BY DJ SCHEME, YOU’LL LEARN HOW FAZE TEMPERRR AND FAZE ADAPT WENT FROM RECORDING VIDEOS IN THEIR BASEMENT TO REACHING THE VERY TOP OF THE GAMING WORLD.

10+ mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

MASTERING THE DARK ARTS

Jotham’s art is a throwback to the Baroque with a uniquely modern twist.

4 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

CAVEMAN FOR HIRE

DONNY DUST HAS BUILT AN EMPIRE OUT OF SIMPLY SURVIVING. WE SPOKE WITH HIM ABOUT CARVING TOOLS OUT OF STONE, HIS PREFERENCE FOR WEATHERED TATTOOS AND HOW WE ALL NEED TO RECONNECT WITH THE NATURAL WORLD.

8 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

MIKE'S DEAD

Revenge is an exceptionally powerful human emotion. It has started wars, has been the main plot point of countless horror slashers and has served as the driving force behind some intense music, including Mike’s Dead’s most recent EP.

4 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

EUN

For decades, tattoo artists have been choosing their own names and developing their brand through an artistic alter ego. You may not be familiar with the names Norman Keith Collins, Katherine Von Drachenberg or Mark Machado, but you've certainly heard of Sailor Jerry, Kat Von D and Mister Cartoon. For Eun, she chose the name Ink Traveler to fulfill her deepest desires. She wanted to travel the world and give people stunning micro realism tattoos-now she's doing just that. We caught up with Eun while she was guesting at Inked NYC to learn about her inspirations, how she fell in love with micro tattooing and much more.

3 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

HIS TIME IS TODAY

MONEYBAGG YO'S CAREER TOOK OFF LIKE A ROCKET IN 2021. WE SPOKE WITH THE RAPPER ABOUT HIS LATEST ALBUM, HIS INK AND MORE

5 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK ‘N ROLL

HOW SOBRIETY INSPIRED AND IMPACTED TYLER POSEY’S DEBUT SOLO EP, “DRUGS.”

6 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

KANYA SESSER

New York Fashion Week is world-renowned for its spectacles. The entire industry turns its eager attention to each show, anticipating the opportunity to behold something never before seen. It’s a high standard to meet, and many shows fall short, but heads turned when Kanya Sesser hit the runway on her skateboard.

3 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

OPPORTUNITY COST

G - EAZY GETS DEEP OVER A BOWL OF INSTANT RAMEN AS WE DISCUSS HIS RECKONINGS WITH FAME, HIS LATEST ALBUM, "THESE THINGS HAPPEN TOO," AND MORE.

9 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue

WHATEVER IT TAKES

BUFFALO BILLS GUARD JON FELICIANO HAS PROVEN THERE ISN’T AN OBSTACLE OUT THERE CAPABLE OF DETERRING HIM FROM HIS GOALS.

7 mins read
Inked
2021 Holiday Issue
RELATED STORIES

ODE TO AWKWARD

The first day after I got my license, I was so excited to drive myself to school. I got there super early, and everything was perfect…until third period when they called over the loudspeaker and described the exact car I was driving. Turns out I’d parked in the vice principal’s spot by mistake. Oops. – MARGIE O.

2 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
February/March 2022

MIAMI MONSTER IS SERIAL KILLER!

High-living braggart busted for brazen attacks on homeless

1 min read
Globe
January 24, 2022

RIDDELL'S AXIOM COULD BE BREAKTHROUGH HELMET FOR FOOTBALL

Riddell has developed a football helmet that might not be just the next big step in design and player safety, but a major leap.

4 mins read
Techlife News
08, January 2022

Snowbirds

Photographs by Naomi Harris

2 mins read
The Atlantic
December 2021

MAXIMBET: BEYOND THE BET

More than a place to bet on sports, this brand is changing the game by treating members to epic experiences

2 mins read
Maxim
November - December 2021

GLORIA SEX ABUSER'S THREAT TO KILL MOM

Gloria says she pulled out her hair from the anxiety

1 min read
Globe
October 25, 2021

How Miami Seduced Silicon Valley

Awash in coders, crypto, and capital, the city is loving— and beginning to shape—its newest industry.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 27 - October 10, 2021

Winning a Wager on U.S. Sports Betting

Fantasy football app FanDuel converts players into gamblers

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 27, 2021

Nate Expectations

As a former football star, an analyst on The NFL Today, and a new co-host of CBS’s morning show, Emmy Award–winning Nate Burleson shows his versatility every time he’s on camera. And he’s just getting started.

10+ mins read
CBS Watch! Magazine
September/October 2021

Q&A with Miami Dolphins Legend Richmond Webb

I was lucky enough to interview the legend, Richmond Webb. For those Dolphins fans who live under a rock, Webb is one of the greatest Miami Dolphins players ever and their greatest left tackle of all time.

10+ mins read
Dolphin Digest
October 2021