Tuesday was the same length as every other Tuesday in the history of time, but for Tress Way, it felt much longer.
That's because the Redskins punter was waiting to find out if he was going to make the 2020 Pro Bowl, a feat that he's come close to before and one he badly wanted to finally achieve this time around.
Around four o'clock in the afternoon, he got a call. Well, the call, to be more accurate.
"I hear, 'Tress, this is Coach Callahan,'" Way explained on Wednesday. "And my heart started frickin' racing. And I was like, 'Oh my god.' I was in the car with my wife, and we're talking, and he said, 'Hey, I just want to let you know that you're the starting punter for the NFC in the Pro Bowl.' I said, 'Are you serious?' And he goes, 'You are. You've done a heck of a job.'"
There was the news Way wanted to receive. Next up: celebrating the news.
"I said, 'Coach, thank you,'" he continued. "If you don't mind, I'm going to hang up because my wife's here, and I'm going to start crying.' And he started laughing, and I hung up. I looked at my wife and I kind of had some tears in my eyes and she goes, 'It's the Pro Bowl, isn't it?' And I just lost it."
Way's wife was the first person who got to congratulate the 29-year-old on the accomplishment. Plenty of others have followed since.
"From [the media], to my teammates, the security guys, the coaches, everybody I've seen has either given me a hug or a high-five," he said. "I'm just so thankful. It's so cool."
According to Way, he and his fellow Redskins Pro Bowler, Brandon Scherff, shared a particularly special moment at breakfast on Wednesday. Scherff, who's physically big but not big on things such as showing emotion or being overly enthused, stuck out his "giant, meat-frickin' paw" to Way for a handshake. It was a brief exchange that meant a lot.
So, instead of having two more games to kick in, Way actually has three, with the final one coming on Jan. 26 in Orlando. And while the exhibition contest itself doesn't matter, getting there certainly does. For proof, look no further than No. 5 in Burgundy and Gold.
"It still hasn't quite hit me. I don't think it'll hit me until February when it's all done," Way said. "This year, everything that took place, it's pretty surreal."
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