DAZN has just released EDGE – La Storia di Habakkuk Baldonado, a documentary about the incredible life of the young man Roman defensive end who conquered American Football by joining the New York Giants team as an undrafted free agent.
On April 28, the NFL Draft 2023 was held, and Haba (that's what his friends call him) could have become a legend as the first Italian player ever selected in the draft. Despite not succeeding in the feat, his dream of playing in the NFL still came true just a few hours before the event, bringing home a contract with the prestigious and titled New York franchise. The documentary traces the stages his personal and sporting journey, as well as the unfolding of the Draft, with the choices of the teams one after the other, and the wait for the fateful phone call.
Growing up in Rome, Haba began playing soccer at school, but soon his curiosity was drawn to the most popular sport in the United States, American football: he started in the Lazio Marines where, thanks to his coach Guido Cavallini, he managed to get in touch with the head coach of Clearwater Academy Int. near Tampa, Florida. At only 17, with a great desire to grow and fight, he moved overseas to chase his dream.
A serious injury immediately jeopardized his career, but Haba managed to recover and play a great season, attracting the attentions of the most prestigious colleges in the United States. Thanks to his determination, he once again managed to rise up and achieve important goals, finally becoming eligible for the draft: in fact, the last mountain to climb is the 2023 Draft, the process by which NFL selects the best players from America's universities.
These are the most important days of his entire career: anticipation, hope and moments of high tension. Habakkuk Baldonado did not become the first Italian player chosen in the NFL Draft, but his dream still came true soon after, signing as an undrafted free agent for the New York Giants.
EDGE - La Storia di Habakkuk Baldonado is the story of a great passion, of a life dedicated to chasing a dream, but it is also a journey behind the scenes of the NFL, a sport in which everything becomes a spectacle, starting with the process of player selection. A competitive and fascinating world, with logics and mechanisms unlike those of any other sport.
"This project serves to give voice to my story, I hope it can be an example, and that it can inspire anyone who is looking for the strength to chase their dreams, however crazy and bizarre they may be. I also hope that my journey can motivate even more all the kids who want to start practicing this beautiful sport in Europe. My life has been full of battles and imposing obstacles that I have always faced and overcome head-on without ever backing down, and that have gotten me to where I am today. As long as I can breathe, I will continue to strive to achieve my dreams and goals. Never give up, and more importantly never stop dreaming." commented Habakkuk Baldonado, American football player for the New York Giants.
Roberto Gotta, DAZN's NFL commentator and co-author of the documentary, states: "Habakkuk Baldonado's is a rhetoric-proof affair, and it is quite a relief. It is an artistic x-ray that insinuates itself little by little into Baldonado's personal story, playing between dry personal memories and opinions of those who loved him and those who met him on his journey. Two categories that coincide, and this also gives the idea of the character. We are with him but we are not him, and this allows us to admire him even more."