The Clancy Clan
Tim MacLean ’16, Staff Writer
It is often said that, in life, things don’t always go exactly the way you plan. Instead we frequently find ourselves forced to seek alternative routes that will ultimately result in us completing the task at hand or achieving the goal we’ve set.
Nobody seems to understand that any better than former Merrimack quarterback, Joe Clancy, who had hoped to join the game’s elite in the National Football League following a stellar career as a Warrior.
At first, it seemed as though Clancy was closer to reaching that goal than anyone realized when NFLDraftScout.com – a site that ranks draft hopefuls based on their abilities as well as their collegiate success – ranked him as the 46th best quarterback in the 2014 draft class. Of course, when you tally nearly 10,000 yards passing, complete 63.7 percent of your passes, and record 89 touchdowns through the air over the course of your career, you’ve got a good chance to open some eyes. Unfortunately, despite his success, Clancy went undrafted and was forced to put his dream on hold.
Rather than give up, Clancy kept working, and after just two months of toiling in free agency he received a unique opportunity to play for the Orebro Black Knights in the Swedish Super Series, which is considered to be the top league in Sweden.
“They had an injury to their quarterback and were looking to sign me and fly me over ASAP,” Clancy told me. “It happened very fast but it was an easy decision for me. I was anxious to play, and the opportunity to live in another country was something I was also interested in.”
The Black Knights weren’t the only team that was seeking to bring on the talented prospect, but Clancy ultimately decided to sign with them due to the fact that they were midseason. For him, it meant getting the chance to play right away while also spending as little time possible overseas, allowing him to explore other opportunities in the States should they present themselves.
But going to Sweden also meant that he would have to make some major adjustments in his life, especially on the football field.
“I think the biggest adjustment was playing in a system that was simple compared to ones I have played in [before],” he explained. “Getting guys to understand how to run routes against certain defenses or blocking certain defensive fronts was challenging. I was doing my best to pass along all the things I’ve learned [from] playing in the United States.”
“The time I spent over there was valuable,” Clancy said of his experience playing with the Black Knights. “Not just working on my own physical skills, but having to be more than just a player, almost like a coach. As a quarterback you’re always trying to be a leader, but this experience meant I had to do more for my teammates, trying to help them as much as I can.”
Clancy’s time spent in Sweden, along with his personal improvement as a quarterback, were enough to earn him another great opportunity back in the States. He recently signed with the Boston Brawlers of the FXFL, a league that hopes to become the equivalent to Major League Baseball’s farm systems or the NBA’s Development League – in other words, a steppingstone to the highest level. Training camp gets underway on September 25th, giving teams just two weeks to prepare before the season kicks off on October 8th. But despite the lack of time to jell as a unit, one thing’s for certain: Joe Clancy will be ready.
“Hopefully this will lead to even more opportunities,” he said. “My goal is still to play in the NFL.”