EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — With his team riding a three-game losing streak and the undefeated Green Bay Packers coming to town in two days, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin didn’t hesitate to take about five minutes for a little boy visiting from Missouri.
The child was visiting the NFL team as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s program of granting wishes to children between 2½ and 18 years old who have life-threatening medical conditions.
A smiling Coughlin immediately walked over to the boy when he walked on the practice field with his family, shook hands and spoke to him for a couple of minutes. The 65-year-old coach eventually had his picture taken with the boy and went back to practice.
The Giants could not identify the child because they had not been given permission by his family.
Taking five minutes from practice wasn’t a problem for Coughlin with his team fighting for a playoff berth and facing the defending Super Bowl champions.
“There is a young boy who is in remission, who is from Eureka, Missouri,” Coughlin said. “He has one wish. He wants to come, he wants to be with the New York Giants, He wants to visit with Eli Manning and he wants to share that experience with his family. The request was made and you don’t think for one minute I’m going to stand in the way of that kind of request.
“I want him to feel comfortable. I want him to feel happy. I want him to feel like this is something that he really, really enjoyed doing,” Coughlin added. “The players are great. The players are super. When they find out that they have a youngster here that’s had adversity in his life and is fighting his way through it, they are tremendous. They’ve always been that way. It’s a unique opportunity for all of us to keep everything in life in perspective. You have a little boy like that, whose only care, his only wish in the world is to come and see the New York Giants. I think that says it all. It does for me anyway.”
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)