Friday, January 13, 2012

Obviously, I'm rooting for the Patriots tomorrow, but...

I can't help but root for Tim Tebow, too.
Zack McLeod is Tim Tebow's kind of player — and man. And vice-versa.

The 20-year-old former high school football player won't snag any touchdown throws from his hero Saturday at Gillette Stadium when the Denver Broncos' on-field miracle-worker challenges the New England Patriots in an AFC Divisional playoff game. But McLeod just may catch a pass — and more compassion and love than he ever imagined.

As kickoff approaches, Tebow will do what he always does at pressure-packed times — give of himself. The 24-year-old quarterback will spend a few moments with McLeod , who suffered a traumatic brain injury playing football in 2008. They plan to meet on the sidelines as part of the Tebow Foundation's Wish 15 program that grants requests for young people with serious medical issues.

"When we told Zack (this week), he just screamed, 'Nooooo waaaay!' " says his father, Pat McLeod, who along with his wife, Tammy, work as Harvard University chaplains. " We are hoping Tim will throw him a pass. Zack still has great hands."

One thing is for sure: Tebow will hug McLeod.
It's always hard to be sure how much truth there is in what you read in the paper. But this is a story that I know about, and we've known that Zack was going to meet Tim since earlier in the week, when Pat posted the news on Zack's CaringBridge Journal. Despite the damage he suffered nearly four years ago, Zack lights up a room when he enters it, and I'm sure that Tim Tebow will enjoy meeting him nearly as much as Zack enjoys meeting Tim.

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