It has recently been reported that Matthew Stafford donated Monday Night Football tickets to the Griese-Hutchinson-Woodson fundraiser and then bid the prize up to $15,000 himself just so he could give them to a young boy named Will, who has suffered a great deal during his sister’s illness.
In sports we tend to celebrate athletes for what they do on the field and then ignore their actions off the field. In Matthew Stafford’s case, both his actions on and off the field need to be recognized.
Last season Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for over 40 touchdowns and 5,000 yards. While those stats are impressive to most, to Marry Ann Bell, who is the mother of Faith Falzone (who is having surgery this week), and of Will, believes it’s what’s on the inside that counts. After spending an evening with Matthew Stafford at the Griese-Hutchinson-Woodson fundraiser gala for the new children’s hospital in the U-M system, Bell had this to say about Stafford:
If you know anything about me, you know I think being a celebrity or an amazing athlete doesn’t make you a star. Being a star is about who you are…not about what you do. Sure, when you look at what Matt Stafford did on the field last year, it would be hard to find someone who wouldn’t call him a super star athlete…but in my eyes, stars are made from the inside out, and rest assured Lions fans your quarterback is as much of a star inside as he is on the outside.
Stafford asked Will before the auction began what Will would pick of the items in the auction.
After Will told Stafford what he would pick, Stafford bid $15,000 for Monday Night Football package (which were his own tickets) won the package, and then donated them to Will. In an article written by Marry Ann Bell (which I strongly encourage you to read), Bell talks about Will’s struggles.
It’s great to see an athlete of Matthew Stafford’s caliber show compassion and help out those who are struggling through life.
We use the term “star” often in the NFL. I agree with Bell, a star should be defined by what they do on and off the field.
With that said, there are very few “stars” in my opinion in the NFL, but Matthew Stafford is certainly one of them.