No Meaningless Games
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As a longtime New York Giants football fan, it's hard for me to tell a story where a Dallas Cowboys player is the hero, but this one I couldn't resist. Charles Lowery tells the story of a visit by then Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman to visit this young patient's ward in a children's cancer hospital. T. J. was one of those patients, a young boy who was dying of cancer. After visiting with him, Troy promised that he would score a touchdown in that boy's honor. As he was leaving, T. J.'s Mom took the quarterback aside and told him that the boy didn't have long to live. Well, the promise stood. The following week was the Cowboys' first pre-season exhibition game, and they didn't even play Troy that week. But T. J., of course, he was glued to that whole game hopefully.
The next week the Cowboys played in Mexico City, putting starters like Troy Aikman in for only the first quarter. The Cowboys had driven to their opponents' 20-yard line where Troy dropped back to launch a pass - only to tuck the football and, much to everyone's surprise, run the ball in for a touchdown - and then to be tackled in the end zone by these two monster defenders. Well, some Dallas sports writers were all over Aikman because he did what he's not supposed to do as a quarterback. He risked injury like that in what they called a meaningless game. They should have talked to T. J.'s Mom. She said, "Troy knew it wasn't a meaningless game; not when he was playing for someone who was dying.">
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