During walk-through on the Wednesday before our first game with the Houston Texans, I walked up to Andrew Luck and Drew Stanton, who were already discussing something. When I walked up, Stanton asked Luck, “Hey, did you invite Coby?” Andrew looked at me, then back to Drew and said, “No.” If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know that it’s quite awkward. I realized the nature of the situation, and proceeded to explain that we could just pretend that it didn’t happen, and I wouldn’t be offended for not being invited to whatever they were discussing. Stanton chuckled, and told me not to worry, and that they had been discussing a charity event they were both planning on attending. Thankfully there was no limit on the invites, so the awkwardness was quickly resolved.
On that Friday, I got to partake in a really cool experience. Many players showed up to a large department store, were paired up (I was paired up with Griff Whalen, a wide receiver from Stanford), given gift cards, and told to take some of the children that were there from Shepherd Community Center (which sounds like a pretty awesome program, and I plan on doing more research on in the future) and go shopping with them. Each kid was given a gift card and told they could get whatever they wanted within the budget.
My group, as most did, went straight to the electronics department in an effort to get there before certain items were sold out. Shopping with the kids was more fun than I expected. My group got split up, so in an effort to find something for two girls in my group, I took them to the women’s section. I didn’t want them to go home empty handed, and didn’t know the rules as to whether or not they could take the remainder of their gift card home with them. I felt like an awkward salesman, outside of his department, and working on commission. I was suggesting anything I could pick up. Outside of my ineptitude in women’s clothing shopping, I was actually having fun.
It was amazing to see the things that the kids chose to use their gift cards on. The choices ranged from books, to movies, to shoes, and toys. It was amazing to watch these kids come back to the card with such a variety of things. One girl in particular was being very conscientious of the amount she was allotted, and had used all of the money to buy gifts for her family members. She didn’t have a single thing in the cart for herself! She knew that she wouldn’t have any money left for herself, and wasn’t worried about it. Fortunately, we were able to work it out where she got a little something for herself.
I’ve heard stories of this happening, and each time it would tug on my heartstrings to hear the kindness of the child. When I saw it up close, I couldn’t help but smile. It seems like this attitude of putting others first is being lost more and more these days. We whine and cry about the things we don’t have. I know I am guilty of this. I hope that I can have the mindset of that little girl more often, and put others first. Regardless of your religious preference, I think we can agree that the world would be a better place if we just treated people the way that we would want to be treated. I understand that there must be winners and losers in much of our world; heck every Sunday my paycheck depends on winning or losing. However, for a little girl who could have easily taken this opportunity to win something small for herself, she decided that it was more meaningful to let her family get the W. Kudos to her for that.
(Some of the Colts players get introduced before the night of shopping)
ODDS and ENDS
-With a win at Kansas City, the Indianapolis Colts are now playoff bound!
-I have a mini list for the Pro Bowl:
1. Congrats to Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis for getting elected.
2. It would be an honor to be elected.
3. It’s amazing to me that Andrew Luck did not get elected.
4. Guys still want to get elected as the best amongst their peers.
5. Guys still want to go to Hawaii.
6. NOBODY wants to get injured in the game. Doesn’t help them individually or their team. Maybe they could make it into a skills competition or something?
-Coach Pagano returned to practice this week with renewed energy and excitement. His time away has made for a lot of pent up coaching. I love having him on the practice field.
-When Coach was gone, we broke every team huddle with, “1,2,3… Chuck!” Now that he is back, some guys have struggled getting back into being creative and coming up with their own breakdown. This has been a bit awkward when Chuck is in the huddle with us… he deserves every one of them though, so it’s not a big deal.