Spike and I made a pilgrimage final weekend to one of the vital sacred locations I do know, and the vacation spot for greater than 70,000 folks on half of fall Sundays.
That’s proper. We went to New Period Stadium, the house of the Buffalo Payments.
This was an additional particular journey, as we bought to spend some high quality time with a Payments captain — and legend — Kyle Williams. He’s been the anchor of the protection for 13 years, a five-time Professional-Bowler, and an extremely inspirational participant for myself, my household, and nearly all Buffalonians.
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I used to be born and raised in Orchard Park, N.Y., precisely eight miles from the stadium. My members of the family are proud, lifelong Payments followers.
I keep in mind precisely the place I used to be once we misplaced the primary of 4 Tremendous Bowls in a row; when Frank Reich engineered the best comeback in NFL historical past in opposition to the Houston Oilers; and once we certified for the playoffs final 12 months, ending the longest playoffs drought in skilled sports activities.
Kyle Williams, the center and soul of the workforce, gave an epic post-game locker room speech that day.
Kyle occurs to have the identical title as my brother, in whose honor I’m elevating Spike for Canine Companions for Independence. My brother Kyle was a paraplegic who died final 12 months from problems from his incapacity. He spent extra time within the hospital than out of it the previous couple of years of his life, which was very tough.
However one factor that all the time put a smile on his face was when his care suppliers would ask him concerning the Payments’ Kyle Williams — and whether or not he knew him or was associated. And listening to his personal title on the published — “Kyle Williams made the deal with!” — actually lifted his spirits. For these causes, #95 holds an additional particular place in my household’s coronary heart.
“Kyle’s pre- and post- recreation locker speeches are notably inspiring. He fires up the entire workforce, and I’d argue the entire metropolis.”
On September 15, after the Payments’ observe, my household, Spike and I bought to fulfill Kyle Williams and share my brother’s story with him. It’s a day I’ll always remember.
Kyle was extremely gracious and humble about listening to the impression he has had on our lives. He was extremely affected person with my 77-year-old, post-stroke mother who simply needed to present him recommendation concerning the recreation. )I needed to speak extra about Spike, however my mother simply saved happening about our “cute, child” quarterback – a.ok.a. rookie QB Josh Allen.)
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Kyle’s pre- and post-game locker speeches are notably inspiring. He fires up the entire workforce, and I’d argue the entire metropolis.
After profitable the ultimate recreation of the 2017 season in opposition to the Miami Dolphins, and with an help from Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, the Payments made the playoffs final 12 months, ending the longest skilled sports activities playoff drought. Kyle had this to say within the locker room:
“This can be a begin. This isn’t a end. This can be a begin. Lets keep on it.”
As heartbreaking as it’s to lose somebody so pricey to you — and it’s actually exhausting some days — it’s not a end.
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Now, with Spike in my life, I hope I may also help present a contemporary begin for somebody with a incapacity.
Thanks, #95, for giving your teammates — and all Payments followers — recommendation and inspiration, every single day. Let’s keep on it.
For extra details about Canine Companions for Independence go to cci.org.