The Real All-American Who Inspired The CW’s “All-American

Spencer Paysinger may not be a name that any but the most devoted NFL fans will know about, and even some of those might not really know who he is. But to the CW he’s an important individual since the show All-American is largely based off of his experience. As Jacqueline Galtieri of Distractify writes Spencer’s decision to uproot from South Central and move to Beverly Hills to pursue his football career was something that Spencer voted against when he was younger, much as the fictional character in the show does. But his parents managed to get him there and from that point on it became a story that would eventually see him play college ball at the University of Oregon, followed by a career in the NFL that lasted until 2017 when he retired. You can just imagine that Paysinger has been a big part of this production as the crew have actually seen him as the heart of the show given that he’s being utilized as a consultant and a producer.

Molli Mitchell of Express managed to dig up a bit more on this story and has been good enough to share it. As the former NFL star says it was a huge culture shock moving from South Central to Beverly Hills, and there were plenty of obstacles in his path since the difference between the two areas is like night and day a lot of times. From the culture to the setting to the people there’s a great deal that can test an individual when it comes to trying to be accepted and to just fit in where you feel alienated from everyone. Paysinger admitted that he felt a rift growing between himself and his old friends even as he tried to find his way in his new school, which is pretty natural but seems as though it might have been even harder in this case given the number of stereotypes and how slavishly people adhere to them at times. In this light it’s easy to see just how the differences between him and his fellow students in Beverly Hills might have been at odds more often than not. He came from an area that was unfortunately known for poverty, crime, and a culture that was a lot rougher around the edges than those in BH could ever imagine. But for Paysinger the idea of playing football and just getting through his time there was what kept him going. One can imagine that eventually he gained enough acceptance to feel that he wasn’t being looked at or wasn’t under attack at all times, but the prospect of trying to work your way through this seems kind of daunting.

As Paysinger tells he had a hell of a time getting on even footing with those he went to school with, as the differences between people from different areas were and still are something that a lot of folks choose to fixate on when it comes to social status. When it came to the football field however he was in his element and it showed. From the time he hit Beverly Hills to the time he made his way into the NFL Paysinger managed to be a force that BH made good use of, though his difficulties never seemed to end at any given time until he made it happen. A lot of people might say that this is something that was on his shoulders since obviously he didn’t want to be there at first, but others might go so far as to state that it was a prime example of how the differences between people are a constant reminder that inequality in the US is a prevalent and still very modern thing that has yet to be solved. Personally I happen to think it’s both since Paysinger was given a golden opportunity that he’d earned and was able to display at the right moment in front of the right people. No one is recruited to a better team or a better school, or a better LIFE, simply on a whim. Such a thing takes a good deal of hard work, effort, and a desire to excel in a manner that is beyond the imaginings of those that sit back and wonder why good things aren’t coming their way.

You want the truth? Inequality in this country is real, it’s a horrid, everyday occurrence that too many people have to deal with, and only a handful of people ever seem to move away from. The lucky few that manage to rise above the circumstances they’re born into are those that refuse to accept that this is their place in life, and like Paysinger they’re the ones that manage to find something they can excel at. His time spent in BH obviously wasn’t as pleasant as it could be, but all in all it became a positive experience in his life that allowed him to move on to another part of his life that became exceedingly positive.


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