NFL Good Guy Matt Overton

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Matt Overton’s job is long-snapper for the NFL team Indianapolis Colts. In a season, he spends perhaps 15 minutes on the field snapping the ball back eight yards back for field goal kicker Adam Vinatieri or 15 yards back for punter Pat McAfee. He is one of professional football’s good guys. He participates in the team’s “community Tuesdays,” during which players and coaches volunteer for good works. He has visited the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, about which he said, “I was blown away by what a great, supportive place it was. I kept it in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something for those kids.” After Mr. Overton Tweeted something about Justin Bieber, a favorite singer of many, many young girls, Mr. Bieber started following him on Twitter. Mr. Overton said, “My friends and teammates heckled me a bunch about it.” In April 2013, Mr. Overton attended a charity auction in which he won a VIP suite at Mr. Bieber’s July concert in Indianapolis — part of his The Believe Tour. Mr. Overton’s purpose in bidding is that he wanted to take some patients from Riley Hospital for Children to the Bieber concert. He said, “I bid on it, going up against this other guy.” He and the other guy then teamed up to acquire some additional Bieber concert tickets so that they could take more patients to the concert. On 10 July 2013, Mr. Overton and ten little girls from Riley Hospital for Children (and some of the little girls’ parents) attended the Bieber concert. Mr. Overton said, “I was one of the few dudes there in attendance. But we had an awesome time. The girls never stopped screaming.” Faith Wilson, age seven and a patient with cancer, who was one of the girls Mr. Overton took to the concert, said, “It’s fun to me, and I like Justin Bieber. He’s my favorite.” Her mother, Lutisha Wilson, said, “This means so much to her. It’s a dream come true for her.” Kaitlyn Gornick, age 10, said, “I love his music, and I think he’s really cute.” She has leukemia, about which she said, “I have to go to Riley quite a bit, and I hate the needle part of it.” Kaitlyn’s mother, Jeannie Taylor, said, “We take it one day at a time. There are days she feels well and days she doesn’t.” Monte Burke, a writer for Forbes, said, “A cynic — and we all become one at some time — might think players like Overton just do this for the publicity. Knowing Overton, I would bet huge sums of money that this is not the case. But even if it is, it’s a net positive. Ten little girls who have been in pain and have been sick and have lived large portions of their lives in a hospital got to go to a Justin Bieber concert two nights ago, got to scream at the top of their lungs for a few blissful hours. It makes me happy to report that.”

For Further Information: Monte Burke, “Sick Of All The Stories Of NFL Players Getting Into Trouble? Here’s One About One Of The League’s Good Guys.” Forbes. 12 July 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/monteburke/2013/07/12/sick-of-all-the-stories-of-nfl-players-getting-into-trouble-heres-one-about-one-of-the-leagues-good-guys/

For Further Information: Emily Longnecker, “Colts player gives Riley Kids chance to believe at Bieber concert.” WTHR (Indianapolis, Indiana). 10 July 2013

http://www.wthr.com/story/22810754/2013/07/10/colts-player-gives-riley-kids-chance-to-believe-at-bieber-concert

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