Partitions, curtain rods, candleholders, couches and TVs.
When you stroll into the Mustipher home, these are only a few of the issues the household has needed to restore over time, due to brothers Sam and PJ’s on a regular basis basketball, soccer and wrestling competitions.
When the 2 brothers had been rising up, their father, additionally named Sam, mentioned they had been merely “wild and loopy little boys,” and all these repairs he needed to make had been a relentless reminder they had been at all times competing with one another round the home.
“If there was one thing that could possibly be competed [in at] our home, then we did it,” the youthful Sam instructed The Day by day Collegian. “Whether or not it was soccer, going outdoors and taking part in basketball, who may pedal a motorbike sooner, who may shoot extra trash within the trash bin — all the pieces was a contest. I feel it actually fueled most of our successes up thus far in our lives.”
All through their every day competitions, one thing began to click on for every of the brothers.
In line with their dad, he began to note the fruits of their aggressive drive as they received older and began to like the grind that was follow.
“I feel the very first thing was noticing how keen they had been to go to follow to get higher,” the elder Sam instructed the Collegian. “They’d by no means rush us out the door for something besides to go to follow, and that was each of them. On gameday, there was no sleeping for both of them, however they loved going to follow, working with their coaches and their teammates and simply attempting to get higher at their craft.
“These had been the primary key indicators that I used to be like ‘Okay, soccer goes to be right here to remain for some time.’”
Sam is the eldest brother by three years, so in accordance with him, he “clearly” wins extra competitions over PJ.
Nonetheless, he additionally mentioned the most important factor he’s taken away from having his little brother push him all through the years is to by no means again down from a problem.
“Actually, it’s simply the flexibility to not draw back from competitors,” Sam mentioned. “For use to having any person who you may take a look at, there’s issues that they’re gonna be higher at than you. However there’s issues that naturally I’ll win at, or naturally that he’ll win at.”
Whereas all the pieces continues to be a contest for the pair to at the present time, Sam mentioned it was at all times good to have the ability to have somebody with the identical experiences so near him as he grew up.
“It’s superior. Simply having any person who understands the expertise and what you undergo on a day-to-day foundation as an athlete and a student-athlete,” Sam II mentioned. “Then ultimately, hopefully when he turns into an expert athlete, I will have the ability to give him a few of the experiences that I’ve had. Clearly his shall be distinctive — it’ll be totally different than mine — however there’s issues that I’ve discovered alongside the best way that I undoubtedly really feel like will have the ability to assist him.”
PJ is coming into his fourth yr at Penn State as a defensive sort out, whereas his brother Sam has already reached the top of soccer.
Sam spent 4 years at Notre Dame earlier than coming into the NFL Draft. Nonetheless, he didn’t hear his identify referred to as in any of the seven rounds of the draft.
As a substitute, he ended up being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears. He spent all of 2019 on the follow squad earlier than showing in 9 video games and beginning seven instances at heart in 2020.
Whereas Sam mentioned he’s at all times keen to assist PJ with any questions he has, their dad merely mentioned having his namesake round the home made a world of distinction in PJ’s profession.
“PJ actually is aware of what his targets are. He is aware of he desires to play skilled soccer, so he is aware of that work ethic. Having Sam as a giant brother was completely a godsend for him,” Sam I mentioned. “It’s not that he doesn’t wish to work onerous, as a result of PJ works onerous, however having Sam as a giant brother provides him proof of what onerous work can do.
“He can by no means look any one in all us within the eye and say onerous work doesn’t imply something, as a result of he is aware of what his brother did to get to the purpose the place he’s now.”
When requested about his brother, PJ didn’t skip a beat to say: “That’s my canine.”
However as PJ continued on, that very same message his father took away from having the youthful Sam in the home clearly was already instilled in him.
“I’d do something for him. I really like him with all my coronary heart,” PJ mentioned. “Simply to see him have the success he’s having, residing out his dream and the place he’s come from. Simply to see him proceed to work on a regular basis when issues weren’t his manner, he by no means threw in that white towel. He by no means stop. He simply went more durable. So for me, I can’t ever throw in that white towel myself as a result of I received any person who’s completed it, who’s overwhelmed the percentages and is having the success he desires to have.”
When PJ stumbles upon adversity, he mentioned he at all times makes use of his brother to push him ahead.
“He’s one in all my greatest motivations — most likely the most important,” PJ mentioned. “Once I’m having a foul day, or stuff isn’t going my manner, I feel to myself ‘What would my brother do?’ And that’s simply ‘go more durable.’ In order that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Regardless of rising up in the identical family and sometimes doing all the identical issues as children, PJ and Sam have adopted fully totally different paths on their respective soccer journeys.
Sam went to highschool an hour away from their home and continued his profession at Notre Dame, whereas PJ went to highschool about 5 minutes down the street from their dwelling in Maryland and finally wound up at Penn State.
Their dad mentioned the college search course of was in depth, however he and his spouse finally felt comfy as soon as the boys made their selections. And whereas many could have anticipated PJ to observe in massive brother’s footsteps, his dad mentioned he’s “his personal man.”
Whereas Sam complained PJ going to highschool nearer to dwelling allowed his youthful brother to sleep in longer and develop a number of extra inches than he did, he doesn’t remorse the selections both of them made.
“I feel we every simply form of blazed our personal path, and I feel it was good for each of us,” Sam mentioned. “I actually assume it was simply good for our household on the whole to go to 2 totally different locations, two totally different colleges, simply having fun with a totally totally different expertise.”
Whereas the 2 could have taken their alternatives to be their very own folks and blaze their very own trails, Sam mentioned their variations received’t ever trigger their relationship to waver.
“It’s humorous. My brother and I, by way of persona, we’re two fully totally different folks. However by way of our aggressive nature and drive, we’re actually alike,” Sam mentioned. “We actually thrive off of one another’s successes, and there’s by no means a time the place we ever attempt to put one another down.
“I’d actually say we’re most likely one another’s greatest followers and largest supporters, whatever the state of affairs and whatever the ups and downs that include being on a stage like this.”
Past the help system between the brothers, the 2 have even been in a position to train one another a number of tips of their trades since they hail from reverse sides of the ball.
Whether or not it’s wrestling one another and attempting to place each other in a headlock, getting a single leg or working go rush drills, the 2 are at all times studying from one another, in accordance with the youthful Sam.
All through their playful competitors, Sam at all times retains in thoughts the potential for he and his brother being on the identical subject.
“Simply realizing that presumably sooner or later we’ll should line up throughout from one another in a aggressive state of affairs is absolutely cool,” Sam mentioned. “It’s a blessing. To play with my youthful brother could be superior — and I feel it might be good for my mother and father’ nerves too.”
It doesn’t matter what the long run holds for the Mustipher boys, their dad is aware of each time they arrive dwelling there’ll nonetheless be a aggressive fireplace between them.
A lot to his spouse’s dismay and regardless of quite a few repairs and replacements required round the home, Sam mentioned he is aware of there’ll at all times be a wrestling match when his sons get collectively — and he’ll be sure that to “have his contractor on pace dial.”
And whereas he doesn’t assume little brother PJ will ever fairly overtake Sam’s crown throughout these matches, their dad mentioned he can’t assist however snort and luxuriate in it whereas he’s wanting on.
“The love that they share, as a dad, simply makes me so proud, as a result of one of many issues that I’ve at all times needed was sons,” the elder Sam mentioned. “So to see the bond that they’ve makes me completely satisfied and makes me proud.”