K.J. Osborn has seen plenty of TV shows and movies showcasing heroic acts.
On Sunday night, Osborn found out it's "different when real flames are in front of you."
The Vikings receiver was a passenger in an Uber that approached a wrecked vehicle in Austin, Texas. Osborn, the driver and two other Good Samaritans helped pull a man from the wreckage. Osborn posted images of the harrowing scene on social media Monday and first shared the story with ESPN's Adam Schefter on the reporter's podcast.
He was invited on NFL Network's Good Morning Football Tuesday morning and made numerous other media appearances to share the story and credit his Uber driver, Abdul, and two citizens named Arthur and Rita, who stopped. Osborn did not previously know Abdul, Arthur or Rita, but they'll forever be connected, and Osborn wants to credit each of them.
On Wednesday morning, Osborn shared more during a video conference with Twin Cities media members.
He explained has always prided himself on being a leader and a "stand-up guy."
That goes for his actions day-to-day and treatment toward others, as well as in an emergent situation.
Flames burst to the point of popping the car's tires as the group huddled on their game plan.
Abdul had first opened the passenger door to check on the motorist, and then Osborn helped carry him to safety before professional first responders arrived at the scene.
The motorist was extracted so quickly that Osborn said he didn't feel the heat from the flame.
"At the time, the driver was still in a daze. I think he may have been unconscious for a little bit, and I think he started to feel the heat on his legs and it kind of woke him up," Osborn said. "He was a driver who had just gotten into a car accident, so as I picked him up and am carrying him, he was talking, and I was just telling him, 'I've got you. I've got you.' "
View the best photos of Vikings WR K.J. Osborn from the 2022 season.
The phrase "right place, right time" is used in multiple situations and easily transferred, but consider in this moment …
— Osborn is in Austin, Texas, for the first time in his life because he's doing specific work there with his personal athletic trainer
— Osborn missed his first Uber on Sunday evening and had to take another
— Abdul opted to stop and help instead of continuing to drive
— Osborn was strong enough to carry the motorist to safety
"I wasn't able to sleep that night at all. I was still waking up [Tuesday] night and settling down from it," Osborn said. "I'm just grateful God was able to use me to be there at the right time."
Inspired by what he's seen on TV shows like The First 48 and movies like White House Down, Osborn has long been interested in eventually joining the FBI or Secret Service once his playing days are over. He's working on a master's degree in criminal justice and now knows firsthand how difficult it can be to unwind after such a stressful situation.
"I don't think it's changed me as a person, but I can say the experience has kind of inspired me to continue to inspire others and be a leader and a role model," Osborn said. "I tell kids all the time that the fact people look up to me, and my family, kids or whoever inspires me to be myself every day and continue to lead and even on bad days to present myself and who I am first-class. It's definitely a crazy experience.
"Another thing, it wasn't just me," he added. "It was Arthur, Rita, Abdul, who I've been in connection with and talking with throughout this week. They're not really on social media much, so I'm telling them millions of people are seeing this, and I want you guys to know that people are grateful for you as well. Of course, they're going to talk about the football player, but those three are heroes."
Osborn has since learned he has mutual friends of the motorist the group rescued but has not yet spoken to him. Osborn hopes to do that in private. He has a video that he does not plan to release, and a photo with Abdul, Arthur and Rita.
"I was trying to be a good person, and I would want somebody to do that for my brother or dad or uncle or self, no matter who I was or anybody else was," Osborn said. "It is humbling, and I'm grateful I was able to be there. I'm so happy the guy is alive. I had help, and I'm definitely grateful to have been there."