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What on earth is duende, the quality Lamar Jackson exudes?

Yasmine Leung October 13, 2021
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images


Dan Rodricks described Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson as “blessed with duende”, but what does the term mean?

Lamar Jackson’s stellar performance

The 24-year-old Florida native led the Baltimore Ravens to victory on Monday night (11 October 2021) after an unbelievable comeback win during overtime.

19 points down late in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, Jackson scored a record 442-yard throw and four touchdowns, boosting the Ravens to a 31-25 win. The Ravens are now ranked first in the AFC North with a 4-1 record, ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns (3-2).

Dan Rodricks, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun, praised Jackson for his exceptional performance, so much so you’d probably forget it was a newspaper site and think it’s a fan page for the quarterback!

Rodricks continuously used the term ‘duende’, which he emphasises as a quality Jackson oozes; something the ESPN cameras couldn’t capture. All this talk of duende, we’re here to explain it.

Duende meaning explained

One quick Google tells us it’s either a gnome-looking creature that originates from Hispanic folkore, which obviously isn’t the definition in Jackson’s context, or “a quality of inspiration”. That’s more like it.

The term is hard to define since it becomes abstract when referring to it as a quality. It is traditionally used when discussing flamenco and bullfighting, where passion and emotion are key traits.

Therefore, the duende in Jackson was the heightened emotion and expression he embraced when fighting for the Ravens’ victory.

Rodricks added that poet Federico Garcia Lorca defined duende as “star power, charisma, a kind of ghostly spirit that gets into the blood of artists”. In other words, he’s got the X Factor.

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Lamar Jackson’s net worth

Jackson’s net worth is reportedly $4 million, as per CelebrityNetWorth.

He is signed to a four-year deal with the Ravens worth $9.7 million, but many reports claim the quarterback is well on his way towards a lucrative contract worth between $45 million and $50 million per year.

After the game, Jackson explained his performance: “I was just locked in. I was just calm. Everything was just moving slow, and I was just taking it a play at a time. That’s what it was.”

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Celebrity Net Worth may estimate Lamar Jackson is worth $4 million but Essentially Sports reports the Baltimore Ravens quarterback, who has advanced 1,901 yards and recorded 12 touchdowns, is on a much more lucrative rookie deal.

According to Spotrac, Jackson signed a four-year contract worth $9.7 million, which includes a $4.9 million signing bonus, $7.5 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $2.3 million.

He will earn a guaranteed $1.3 million throughout the 2020 NFL season. His estimated yearly cash for 2023 is expected to be about $32.7 million.

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.