It was 6:00 PM on Sunday night. Practice had ended 40 minutes ago, and most of their New York Giants teammates had long since exited the University of Albany athletic facilities. Yet Kurt Warner and Shaun O’Hara were still in their football gear, making their way down a path flooded with fans, signing autographs for anyone who wanted one.
One of the more popular aspects of attending Giants training camp is trying to obtain autographs from players. Some collect for the fun of doing so, while others, unfortunately, collect and turn around autographs for profit. Some players will sneak out, avoiding fans, while others will graciously sign a handful before departing. O’Hara, the starting center on a revamped offensive line, and Warner, a two-time league most valuable player, are a step above.
Because our faith in professional athletes has been shattered for years, such acts of kindness take everyone by storm. And it makes us feel good, knowing that a few select athletes truly care about their fans and do everything in their power to accommodate them.
Lost in the world of Rae Carruth and Ricky Williams are players that are bona fide role models for everyone, including their fellow athletes. They remind us of all the good a professional athlete can possess. O’Hara and Warner are two shining examples, but there are others – if you look hard enough.
Ryan Fay’s work has been featured at both the Football and Baseball Cafes; he also posts in the forums as RFay8585.
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