Schwartz: Giants Punter Steve Weatherford Visits Pediatric Patients
POSTED BY: STEVE WEATHERFORD in NEWS
For the most part, Tuesdays are off-days for NFL players. It’s a day for them to turn the page from their previous game and recharge the batteries for the next contest. But in the case of Giants punter Steve Weatherford, his team is on its bye week and he’s getting ready to take his family on a little vacation.
But that didn’t stop Weatherford from making a pit stop before going to the airport. After chatting with WFAN co-hosts Boomer & Carton in studio, he spent some time at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan to visit with pediatric patients at the Lerner Children’s Pavilion, while also taking over the hospital’s Instagram account to share photos from his day.
“It was surreal,” said Weatherford. “To really open all the doors in the hospital — and for me to be able to go in there and spend time with the kids, share my past and my motivation — was really a surreal experience for me. The reason that I came was to spend time with them. I definitely got a lot out of it.”
And so did the kids at a very special time of the year.
When the hospital asked Weatherford to come visit the kids, he jumped at the opportunity, but he did so with a request of his own. Since Halloween is fast approaching, Weatherford asked if it was OK to dress up as Superman for his visit.
“I think as a kid, you look up to superheroes and you look up to professional athletes,” said Weatherford. “I thought it was appropriate in that setting. Kids love football, but one thing that everybody can really agree on is that they look up to superheroes. I wanted to represent something that everybody looked up to, and not just little boys that love football.”
Weatherford is especially enamored with Superman because he serves as a beacon of hope for people. The man of steel might be faster than a speeding bullet, be stronger than a locomotive and have X-ray vision, but Weatherford pointed out that anybody can be a superhero.
“If you dedicate yourself every day to being the best that you can be that day, you are a superhero because you’re being better than what you were yesterday,” said Weatherford.
The Giants will have to wait a while to show that they’re better than they were on Sunday.
A 31-21 loss to the Cowboys dropped Big Blue to 3-4 heading into their bye week. Despite two losses in a row, Weatherford knows that the Giants can combat their issues by attacking adversity with their own version of kryptonite.
“We’re trying to stay positive,” said Weatherford. “We know that we have the talent to contend for a Super Bowl, but it takes more than just talent. It takes coming together and playing as one unit. It’s not that far-fetched to think that we can win seven out of our last nine games or eight out of our last nine games.”
While that would be a dream come true for the Giants and their fans, Weatherford was able to make dreams come true for some very happy kids on Tuesday. He is admired around the NFL for his dedication to health and fitness, philanthropy and helping the community.
That was very evident during his visit to the hospital.
Just his presence alone would have been uplifting for the youngsters at the hospital, but Weatherford went above and beyond during his special day in New York City.
He wasn’t just a professional athlete on this visit. Weatherford proved to be someone who all of the kids could relate to. Whether they were fans of football, fans of superheroes or just kids looking for a reason to smile, these children had a great time with a great guy.
To these kids, Steve Weatherford truly was Superman.
You can follow me on Twitter @pschwartzcbsfan. You can also follow Steve Weatherford@Weatherford5 and the Hospital for Special Surgery @HSpecialSurgery.
By Peter Schwartz CBS New York | October 22, 2014