Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Drew Pearson - Special Athlete

I wanted to relay on of my favorite Tyler stories tonight.  I hope you enjoy it.

When Ty lived at home we essentially used two living rooms.  My wife and daughter would watch TV and play in the main living room, and Tyler and I would retreat to the finished basement or "man cave".  He had his Wii to play and I would watch TV and get some work done on my laptop. 

The man cave has some things in it that are special to me.  There is a certificate from my first visit to Wrigley Field, an autographed picture of Pat Summit, a birthday card for Tyler signed by Richard Petty, and a program from my first visit to Doak stadium in Tallahassee (which was also coach Jimbo Fisher's first game as well).  But of the many items that make me smile to think back on, an autograph by Drew Pearson, Cowboy's wide receiver, might be the one that gets to me the most.

Drew was to be in town with Jay Novacek doing an autograph signing.  To be completely honest I was only going to get Jay's signature on my Cowboy's helmet but they offered a good deal if you bought both so I figured "what the heck".  

I don't recall why exactly but I had Tyler with me to go get the helmet signed at the local mall.  He was in his wheelchair/stroller so that we could stand in line and I could quickly get the signatures done and get pictures with the players without an incident.  So as we approached the signing tables I wheeled Tyler over to Jay first.  He signed it, gave me a quick picture, and moved on.  He didn't strike me as a particularly chatty or uber-friendly guy but not unfriendly either.  Next I moved Tyler a bit toward Drew's table.  What happened next I won't ever forget.

Drew bounced to his feet and said "hey, bring that young man over here".  Now I'm thinking "sir you know not what you are asking for".  Then I pictured myself apologizing for my son punching a world famous football player.  So I pulled Tyler back close to us and held my breath.  For Drew this still wasn't good enough.  Before I knew it Drew slipped off his Super Bowl ring and placed it on Tyler's finger and wanted him to hold it up. I was awestruck.  To Drew it was just a quick moment in time but for me, as Ty's father, it was a gift to last me a lifetime.  What a neat guy.  In fact when the signing was over Drew engaged some kids in the parking lot in a game of catch.  That is a guy that gets it.  What is a simple gesture by one person can be much more to the person receiving it.

Be well and God bless.  Tom

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