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Postby Guttpuppy » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:26 am

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1982747

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Daunte Culpepper showed off his scrambling ability Wednesday -- in a crowded convention center ballroom.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback presented a paralyzed high school football player two diamond necklaces worth about $75,000 during an NFL awards ceremony, but then awkwardly asked for them back after it was finished.

The apparent gift prompted a mother to cry, a father to think about buying a safe to store it and Culpepper to find a way out of the mess.

"I'll get him something else," Culpepper said sheepishly.

The confusion began at the FedEx ground and air player of the year honors, where finalists Culpepper, Peyton Manning, Shaun Alexander and Curtis Martin were on stage for the announcement.

When the master of ceremonies opened the floor for questions, Jerry Townsend spoke up from his wheelchair in the front row.

"Hey Daunte, can I get some of that ice?" he said in a low voice, referring to the two sparkling necklaces hanging around Culpepper's neck.

Culpepper jumped up, pulled them off and brought them over to Townsend, a senior defensive back at Jacksonville Episcopal High School who was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle in October.

Townsend spent the last four months in various hospitals and was released Wednesday -- just in time to go to the Super Bowl event.

After Culpepper put the necklaces around Townsend's neck, his mother started to cry. His father talked about needing to get a safe for the expensive jewelry.

Culpepper, meanwhile, went back to his seat and finished the awards ceremony (Manning won the air award, and Martin won the ground one). After it was over, Culpepper patiently answered dozens of questions while keeping a close eye on his jewelry across the room.

One of the diamond-laced necklaces was the No. 11, Culpepper's jersey number, and the other was a large pepper (for Culpepper).

"Where's that kid at? I've got to get my stuff back," Culpepper said.

Culpepper then walked over to the Townsends and asked them to write down their address so he could send them something else. Culpepper wasn't sure what it would be.

In an unrelated note, Culpepper will appear in a 60-second NFL Network commercial to air during the Super Bowl along with several other players and coaches from around the league that didn't make it to the big game. They'll be singing "Tomorrow," a tune from the musical "Annie."
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Postby SwiperNoSwiping » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:31 am

Wow...If he didn't say 'here wear this for a bit kid' or something like that, it's kind of crappy...

But that is a heck of a gift to just assume he gave him.
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Postby OwenTheBlonde » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:57 am

Color me cynical but that seems about right.
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Postby disgruntledjetsfan » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:11 am

The kid's life is ruined, he will never walk again, and Daunte Culpepper does something amazing for him...then takes it back? Its not like he couldnt afford to give it up.
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Postby awwchrist » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:25 am

"Where's that kid at? I've got to get my stuff back," Culpepper said.


Professional football player, 6'4" 250lbs prolly runs a 4.4 / 40 and he's worried about a teenager in a wheelchair losing him?
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Postby Mercer Boy » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:35 am

That is a crazy story...he probably should have said no or expected not to get them back. He went from looking like a champion of charity to a chump of chicanery. :-[
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Postby deluxe_247 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:09 am

yeah thats got to suck for that kid. c-pep probably should have mentioned he wanted them back before he left and finished the ceremony. maybe he can send him a signed photograph of himself.....wearing those same 2 necklaces 8-o ;-) ouch
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:34 am

That is insane... almost too horrible to be true. Why would he present that in the first place so he could take them back?

This story has a good lesson to be learned... trust no one from Minnesota. :-b
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Postby mutantseabass » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:10 am

Cpep should set the kid up a college fund, the kid has no use for ice other than to put it up on ebay 5 minutes after he gets home. I wonder what kind of money that would have broughtin off ebay.
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Postby no1cowboysfan » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:51 am

Oddly enough, that's exactly what I thought too. The kid didn't need jewelry... his career just ended, he needed money. Nomore college scholarship, if that was in the cards. I'm not saying he should have paid the college in full, but a nice check to help things along would be a kind gesture.
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