it was a bitter cold night. The sporting goods store hosting the event was packed past capacity. Fans waited in a long, slow-moving line in excess of 2 hours to reach the players. 2 young Buckeye fans, ages 4 and 10, respectively, approached the autograph table with trepidation. Gibson is listed at 6’2” and 245 pounds but to the boys he seemed a giant. Gibson’s stylish dreadlocks and hip clothing added to his foreboding presence. The parents of the young men observed - Gibson had signed hundreds of autographs that night, the line and his obligation was near the end, and all they anticipated from Gibson was a scribbled signature with nary a glance.
Instead, Gibson leaned over the table, established eye contact, and shook the hands of mother, father, and each boy. He asked each boy his name and signed a personal greeting to each. He addressed the father as “sir” and asked the boys several questions. He thanked the young men for being devoted fans and for watching the Rose Bowl. It seemed as if they were the most important people in the gracious 22-year-old’s existence. The family exited, impressed beyond belief and aglow with respect for Gibson’s courtesy and personal touch.
The 10-year-old soon connected with Gibson through social networks via computer. Gibson responded with friendly comments and, in time, a professional quality, signed and personalized color action photo appeared in the youngster’s mailbox. It is now framed and displayed in a prominent spot on his bedroom wall. No matter how Gibson’s budding career with the San Francisco 49ers or another team develops he will always be a first-ballot Hall of Famer to the young man and his family!
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com