During the regular football season, Matthew Stafford was most often overlooked by the bigger quarterback stars such as Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. It’s no surprise that he’s not warranting much attention beyond the sidelines. Though, I guess it’s better not have a celebrity status such as Tim Tebow.
Early this May, Stafford visited the White House alongside Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan and Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher. He was there to promote a new football-related video game entitled “Financial Football”; a fast-paced interactive game that will engage students while teaching them money management skills. The game enables students to compete by answering financial questions to earn yardage and score touchdowns. I knew a few finance students in college that were football fans, and this game would be a great way to study or refresh their knowledge. It’ll be nice for children to have a game where they can play and learn.
However, the most touching story arose from Matt’s visit to the Mott Children’s Hospital fundraiser with his girlfriend Kelly this past weekend.
A travel package that included a trip to Chicago for a Monday Night football game to see the Lions play the Bears was on the auction block. The auctioneer, Dhani Jones, asked Matt to add in some tickets to the game in order to “beef up the prize”. Imagine to everyone’s surprise when the Lions quarterback started to bid on his own Monday Night game. After a bid of $15,000, Matt wom the auction. Amusement and surprise turned to astonishment when Matt presented this purchase to a young boy named Will.
Will’s sister, Faith, is a young girl suffering from a terminal illness. Stafford and Kelly sat down with Will’s family and listened to their story. And while the night was about Faith and children like Faith, it is often easy to overlook others who are just as affected. Matt didn’t. He immediately saw the hardships that Will faced.
Faith and Will’s mother wrote about the entire experience in her blog, capturing the touching moment. She wrote that “quarterbacks are probably the most influential player(s) among all team sports […] Detroit fans, your quarterback sees it. He was able to give Will a night he will never forget. He was able to heal some of the hurt, and give Will something to look forward to”.
That was quite a way to give back. Something like this will always touch a child, and it’s something they will always hold onto. A young family can have a night where they can forget everything and enjoy being a family bonded together by the game of football. Will’s mom spoke highly of Stafford: “you’re looking at a superstar athlete, from the inside out”.
It’s obvious that Stafford sees it all on the field, and that he’s a great leader of the Lions. This quarterback also sees it all off the field, and used an opportunity to give back to the community.
While Stafford touched and changed Will’s life, there is no doubt that Will, in turn, touched Stafford’s.