Jump to content

Sanchez brightens a sick boy's holiday


Steveg
 Share

Recommended Posts

By Ron Borges

Nobody asked for this story to be written, but it's a Christmas story and it just seems right to tell it.

It's the kind of story that happens more often than you might think, but is written about far less than it should be because "bad" sells faster than "good" and "prurient prying" sells better than "gentle compassion." But it's Christmas, so bear with me.

An 11-year-old boy in Queens, N.Y., named Aidan (no last name needed) has been fighting a losing battle with a rare form of cancer for some time. He is fighting bravely, the odds long and his time short, but he had one wish. He wanted to meet his hero, Jets QB Mark Sanchez.

Problem was that wish got from the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation to the Jets just before their game with the Miami Dolphins several weeks ago, a key game that came a week after a 45-3 thrashing from the Patriots. Teams worry about kids, but they also worry about winning and distractions, so it took some time for the word to get to Sanchez. Considering that his team lost to Miami 10-6 on a day when he played poorly, what happened next was, well, what you'd hope for. Mark Sanchez answered a family's prayer.

Not only did he and an assortment of other Jets, including Rex Ryan, share some time with young Aidan at their sprawling practice facility three days after that loss, they made a weak boy feel strong and a sad family smile. They did all they could, but then Sanchez did more. Unbeknownst to the Jets, their quarterback gave the boy his number and told him to text him before the Steelers game that Sunday.

The kid, being earnest in the way kids can be, held the number tightly and waited for Sunday, thinking those were his instructions. When several days passed without a text, Sanchez called the foundation, got the boy's number and reached out, clearing up the confusion. They exchanged texts that week and then Sanchez went off to face the surly and surging Steelers.

Pittsburgh is no place to be in December to save your season, but that was where the Jets landed. It was also where they may have done just that, winning 22-17 by scoring the final 12 points. Seven came on a naked bootleg by Sanchez, who rolled around a bewildered Steelers defense and into the endzone untouched.

As Sanchez left the field, someone stuck a camera and microphone in his face and he held up that ball and said it was for his friend Aidan, who was in a fight with cancer. Not many people knew what he was talking about, but a boy in Queens did, and so he smiled on the couch, something he doesn't do as much as he used to.

If that were the end of the story, it would be enough, but, in a way, it's only the beginning. Last Tuesday, on his day off, Sanchez called Aidan's house and asked if he could visit. It was to be a surprise, and when Sanchez arrived, the boy was asleep, tired from his ongoing struggle.

Sanchez could have left a football or a note or simply said he had too much to do the week before Christmas, including preparing for the Chicago Bears, and who would have blamed him?

He could have said he'd come another time, but a quarterback understands clock management, so he sat on the couch and waited for his small friend to open his eyes. When he did, they were as wide as any kid's on Christmas morning.

It's one thing to be taken, through the efforts of friends and family, to visit your idol in his lair in New Jersey. It's a great thing, to be sure, but here was his friend Mark, the QB, sitting on his couch!

They talked and laughed and maybe told a lie or two, the way friends do. Sanchez told him about the game and how much his new friend meant to him. Eventually it was time to go, but as he was driving away, it was difficult to know who made the other smile the widest.

Two days later, a game ball showed up in Queens from the Jets, awarded to young Aidan by Rex Ryan. He had been a part of that victory in Pittsburgh and, if you believe in karma, when Sanchez rolled out and the entire Steelers defense disappeared, maybe, just maybe, a tough kid from Queens was leading the blocking. Who can say?

You hear a lot of stories about selfishness among professional athletes these days. You hear about lunacy and misbehavior and you wonder what they're thinking. Last week, after two difficult losses, Mark Sanchez gave a little fighter from Queens something else to think about.

He gave him a reason to smile.

  • Upvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice story, good for Mark.

Kinda odd that the feel good story about the Jets QB come via a Boston based reporter instead of one of the Jets beat reporters.

Noticed that too?

The NY media sucks. They're more fascinated by BS. This isn't the first time this year a Boston based reporter did a positive story on a NY athlete.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Noticed that too?

The NY media sucks. They're more fascinated by BS. This isn't the first time this year a Boston based reporter did a positive story on a NY athlete.

Boston media sucks too.

Plenty of NEP players do the same type stuff. That is true for every team. Borges never writes about that, only negative stuff about the NEP. When Brady does charity type stuff it makes the Projo, but not Borges column.

Not taking anything away from Sanchez, what he did was great. But there is something seriously wrong with the NY media not interested in this story, but a Boston reporter that never comments on Brady or other Patriots charity activities being all over it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

awesome story, i wish we heard more stuff like this instead of people trying to dig up dirt on all these athletes and coaches.

I know everyone loves to hate on tony romo, but i heard of this story a while back where he brought a homeless man with him and his friends to get lunch and see a movie with them and i thought that was pretty awesome as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

awesome story, i wish we heard more stuff like this instead of people trying to dig up dirt on all these athletes and coaches.

I know everyone loves to hate on tony romo, but i heard of this story a while back where he brought a homeless man with him and his friends to get lunch and see a movie with them and i thought that was pretty awesome as well.

I like the Romo tire story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moment of Silence Sunday for a Friend of Mark’s

Posted by Randy Lange on December 31, 2010 – 4:25 pm

Many Jets fans read about Mark Sanchez and the Jets and their reaching out to 11-year-old Aidan Binkley from Queens, N.Y., after their loss to the Dolphins. If you hadn’t seen it, you can click here to read Ron Borges’ story in Pro Football Weekly.

Aidan was suffering from a rare form of cancer. Through the foundation of Teddy Atlas (a former Jets special assistant under Eric Mangini, fans will remember), he had two wishes: that his two brothers would be OK and that he could meet Mark Sanchez.

The Jets took care of Wish No. 2. Aidan, his mother, father and two brothers visited the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Dec. 15, and after practice Rex Ryan, Mike DeVito, Dustin Keller, Rob Turner, Matt Mulligan, John Conner and Antonio Cromartie all came to owner Woody Johnson’s second-floor office to visit.

Then Sanchez came up to spend time with Aidan. They talked, exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and the Jets QB signed a jersey for Aidan. After the win over the Steelers, the team sent Binkley a gameball.

It is our sad duty today to report that Aidan Binkley passed away Thursday. There will be a moment of silence for him before the Jets’ final regular-season game against the Bills on Sunday at New Meadowlands Stadium.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A story like this would have always saddened me, but I can probably count the number of times I shed a tear since I was 10 on one hand (outside of when a loved one has died). This thread has made my eyes well up twice (once positive and once negative). I guess having my own little guy has changed my perspective a bit.

RIP Aidan.

Edited by Bergenjet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moment of Silence Sunday for a Friend of Mark’s

Posted by Randy Lange on December 31, 2010 – 4:25 pm

Many Jets fans read about Mark Sanchez and the Jets and their reaching out to 11-year-old Aidan Binkley from Queens, N.Y., after their loss to the Dolphins. If you hadn’t seen it, you can click here to read Ron Borges’ story in Pro Football Weekly.

Aidan was suffering from a rare form of cancer. Through the foundation of Teddy Atlas (a former Jets special assistant under Eric Mangini, fans will remember), he had two wishes: that his two brothers would be OK and that he could meet Mark Sanchez.

The Jets took care of Wish No. 2. Aidan, his mother, father and two brothers visited the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Dec. 15, and after practice Rex Ryan, Mike DeVito, Dustin Keller, Rob Turner, Matt Mulligan, John Conner and Antonio Cromartie all came to owner Woody Johnson’s second-floor office to visit.

Then Sanchez came up to spend time with Aidan. They talked, exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and the Jets QB signed a jersey for Aidan. After the win over the Steelers, the team sent Binkley a gameball.

It is our sad duty today to report that Aidan Binkley passed away Thursday. There will be a moment of silence for him before the Jets’ final regular-season game against the Bills on Sunday at New Meadowlands Stadium.

Very sad.... RIP Aidan

Lets regroup and get our priorities straight.... We have a Superbowl to win in memory of this little warrior!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sanchez definitely seems to get it. It is amazing the impact a football player can have. Really cool that he understands that and uses it for good.

Feel terrible for this family, that is such a young age. Sounds like a great kid who was very brave. Tough, tough time of the year for the family to have to deal with this. Certainly no time would be a good one but seems even tougher right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...